(Last Updated on : 18/08/2010)
Dumal caste is an agricultural caste mostly found in the state of Orissa
. However, they are also found in some other states of Eastern India. The caste claims that they were previously a branch of the Gaurs, with whom they have no special connection presently. The caste derives their name from a village known as Dumba Hadap. Some scholars suggest that the Dumal or Jadupuria Gaura is a group of local formation. Dumal caste is distributed over several regions of the state such as Boudh
, Sonepur, Bargarh
, Sambalpur district
and Deogarh district
. Dumal caste is considered as an economically backward community of the region. Members of Dumal caste are cultivation. Dumals have no sub-castes and they have a complicated exogamy system. This exogamy system of Dumal includes three kinds of sections or divisions, the gotra or sect, earth from which they sprang that is the name of the village from where the name of the clan has been taken, the varga or family title. Members of the same exogamous group are prohibited to marry.
In Dumal community, girls get married before attaining the stage of adolescence, if the parents fail to find a suitable match for their daughter before this then heavy penalty is imposed on the girl. She is excluded from the caste. She is taken to a forest and tied to a tree with a thread. Any person belonging to another caste can marry her if he wishes to do so. However, this penalty is rarely imposed on a girl. Marriage proposal usually comes from a boy's side. They follow several rituals associated with marriage. They make offerings to their ancestors. A Brahmin
priest is employed for the wedding performance. After marriage, a girl goes to her husband's house and returns back to her house after three days. Widow re-marriage and divorce are allowed. Divorce is said to be effected in the presence of the members of caste committee or Panchayat. A divorced woman can marry again if she wants to do so.
Members of Dumal caste are highly religious and they worship Goddess Parmeshwari, wife of Lord Vishnu
. They also worship Lord Jagannath
. Dumals eat meat but they refrain from any kind of liquor. Tattooing is an important part of their culture. Slowly and gradually, education is also making its way into this community.