PANWARI Also known as Kumawat or Tamboli, the Panwari in Madhya Pradesh derive the community name Panwari from the word pan meaning betel leaf. The Panwari have other subgroups like Chowrashia, Kulmi and Purbia between which connubial relations are restricted. The community is distributed in many districts in Malwa region but concentrated in the Indore, Dhar and Dewas districts. Their mother tongue is Malvi, an Indo-Aryan language. Hindi is used as lingua franca and the script used is Devanagari. Vegetarian food is consumed and jowar and wheat are their staple cereals. Their status in the varna system as Vaisya is well acknowledged.
The Kumawat are endogamous and divided into a number of clans for the purpose of regulating marriage alliances. Arabal, Shivpuria, Lonaya, Jalkhare, Parkatia, etc. are their clans. Marriage is arranged when boys and girls become adult. Monogamy is the general practice but polygyny is also permissible. Cousin marriage, levirate and sororate are strictly discarded. Marriage symbols are toe-rings and bangles.
Residence after marriage is patrilocal. Widow, widower, male and female divorcee remarriage is permissible. Extended type families are more in number than any other types. Sons inherit die property equally, but daughters receive a small share, if they demand so. Succession goes to the eldest son. Delivery is looked after by a midwife from the Bhil, Kachhi or Alia community. The purificatory rite, on the seventh day, is performed by a Brah man priest in the form of sun worship (suryapuja). When a child is born under the influence of a malevolent star, the purificatory rite is held in the form of star worship (nakshatrapuja) on the twenty-seventh day of childbirth.
The important rituals associated with marriage are batpakki, application of turmeric paste, joining of hands and seven times circumambulation round the sacred fire. The dead are cremated. Pollution dasha is observed for ten days and purificatory rite (ghata) is performed on the tenth day. On the twelfth day, succession ceremony (pagri) is held followed by a feast (nukta) to kins. Feast on the eleventh day as well as for nukta are not performed when a person dies before attaining forty-five years of age. Their traditional council is rigid and is headed by a hereditary chief, patel. The Panwari are Hindu by faith. A Brahman priest is their sacred specialist.
Cultivation of betel leaves is one of the major economic pursuits of the Panwari community. They are found involved in business, agriculture, horticulture, wage labour, as well as in medical, legal, engineering and teaching profes sions. Intercommunity linkages are mostly established in die socio-economic sphere. During social events the Brahman, Nai, Bhil, Kachi and Alia render dieir respective services to die Panwari. The community extends their cooperation by lending the iron-made bier to the members of odier communities to carry the dead. The commensal relations are extended to various other communities. Development programmes related to education, health and medical