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Title: Doms  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Culture of Bankura district, Hari caste, History of Bankura district, Bagdi caste, Bauris
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Religions Hinduism
Languages Bengali
Populated States West Bengal, Bangladesh
Population 316,337 (2001 census)
Family names Dom, Bansfor, Mallick

Doms (Bengali: ডোম)are a Bengali Hindu caste found in large numbers in Birbhum, Bankura and other districts in the western fringe of the Indian state of West Bengal.[1][2] Traditionally, Doms were basket-makers, cultivators, labourers and drummers; their wives serving as midwives.[1]

The Maghiya Doms were formerly classified as a criminal tribe under the Criminal Tribes Acts of the British Raj.[3][4]


Doms numbered 316,337 the 2001 census and were 1.7 percent of the scheduled caste population of West Bengal. 46.0 percent of Doms were literate – 58.9 percent males and 32.6 percent females were literate.[5]


Some of the major groups derived from the principal professions they follow or the crafts they practice; for example, the cattle-breeding group takes the significant name of Gawli, derived from a Sanskrit word for cow. The names of the shepherd castes seem to be derived from words meaning sheep, which is at least the case with Gadaria from 'gadar', on old Hindi word for sheep. Many others of these major groups called castes bear merely tribal or ethic names. Such are for example: Arora, Gujjar, Lohana, Bhatia, Meena, Bhil, Dom, Oraon, Munda, Santal, Koch, Ahir, Mahar, Nayar, Maratha, Gond, Khond, etc.[6]


  1. ^ a b O’Malley, L.S.S. Bengal District Gazeteers—Birbhum (1996 ed.). Government of West Bengal. p. 41. 
  2. ^ O’Malley, L.S.S. Bengal District Gazaeteers—Bankura (1995 ed.). Government of West Bengal. pp. 65–67. 
  3. ^ Bates, Crispin (1995). "Race, Caste and Tribe in Central India: the early origins of Indian anthropometry". In Robb, Peter. The Concept of Race in South Asia. Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 227.  
  4. ^ Gupta, Ganesh (2005). Padabi Abhidhan [Dictionary of Family Names] (in Bengali). Kolkata: Annapurna Prakashan. p. 52. 
  5. ^ "West Bengal, Census of India 2001, Data Highlights – The Scheduled Castes". Office of the Registrar General, India. Retrieved 28 June 2009. 
  6. ^ Caste And Race In India by G.S. Ghurye, Popular Prakashan 2004 reprint page: 31,32,33.

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