(Last Updated on : 09/08/2010)
Lakhera is the small community distributed over the central province of India. They are mainly associated with the making of bangles and other articles. They are mostly distributed over Jabalpur
regions of Madhya Pradesh
. The name of this community has been derived from Sanskrit term 'laksha-kara', which means a worker in lac or glass. Lakhera community is considered as a mixed functional group that is closely associated with the Patwas and Kacheras. However, there is no distinction between Lakheras and Patwas. Some say that they were originally Kayasthas. However, according to others, they are said to have been created by Lord Shiva
, for making bangles for Parvati
. Hence they were called Deobansi. Another legend states that they were created by Lord Krishna
for making bangles fro Gopis. One of the most elaborate accounts regarding their origin states that Lakheras were originally Yaduvanshi Rajputs. They assisted the Kurus in making a fort.
Other stories of their origin say that their ancestors were Rajputs
and Kayasths. The Lakheras have divided them into two sub-castes namely Surajvanshi and Somvanshi, in order to prove their claim. Other sub-divisions of Lakheras are Marwari and Tarkhera (makers of large earrings). The earrings that they make consist of a particular type of circular piece of wood. The exogamous sections of the Lakheras are named after animals, plants and other natural objects. The customs of Lakheras resemble the customs and traditions of other castes of equal status. In their society girls get married at an early age. Divorce and widow re-marriage is allowed in their societies. They make and sell bangles and other useful articles. Several superstitions are associated with the lac industry. They follow some rituals while making the bangles. Brides of this community wear lac bangles during their wedding.
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