Kathi

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Kathi (कठी) (Kati), Kathoi of Greek, is a Jat clan. Kati clan is found in Afghanistan.[1] James Tod places it in the list of Thirty Six Royal Races.[2]

Origin

History

Kati is the name of an ancient tribe, which in Afghanistan has given its name to the Katawaz district of Ghazni ; they are the same people, apparently, as the Kathi of the Punjab, whose ancestors opposed Alexander, and whose posterity afterwards spread southwards and gave their name to an extensive country, the modern Kathiawad or Kathiawar. [3]

James Tod writes that We can scarcely refuse our assent to the belief, that the Kathi, or Katti tribe, here mentioned, is the remnant of the nation which so manfullly opposed Alexander. It was then located about Multan, at this period occupied by the Langas. The colony attacked by the Bhatti was near the Aravalli, in all probabihty a predatory band from the region they peopled and gave they peopled and gave name to Kathiawar, in the Saurashtra peninsula. [4]

Kathi caste in Gujarat

The Kathi (Gujarati: કાઠી) are a Darbar caste of Saurashtra found in the state of Gujarat in India.[5] Kathi are popularly referred as Kathi Darbar.[6]

History and origin: The Kathi are said to have given their name to the Kathiawar region. They are said to be descended from the Sura, an ancient race of sun worshipers found in western India. According to their traditions, they are descended from Kush, the son of the Hindu God Ram. Colonial British historians consider the Kathi to be a Scythian tribe that settled in the Kathiawar region in the second century B.C.[7]

The Kathi have two divisions, the Sankhyavat and Auratia. These divisions are hierarchical in nature, with the former considered royalty. There are three clans found among the Sankhyavat, namely the Vala, Khachar and Khuman. These clans are further divided into smaller lineages called attaks. Strict exogamy is maintained between the Auratia and Sankhyavat. They are found in both Kathiawar and Kutch divisions of Gujarat.[8]

People: A person from Kathiawar is called a "Kathiawadi". Kathis migrated from the Rajasthan to Kutchh and then to Saurashtra and made treaty with the Wala rajputs of Suarastra and started matrimonial relations with the local rajputs, most probably the Walas, thus today's Kathi community is a mix of Kathis from Rajasthan and the pre-existing rajputs of Saurashtra. The list of Kahiawadis include the Savji community which is present in current day Maharastra and Gujarat, the Katwe khsatriyas of Gujarat and the Katwa or Katwe (from the name Kathiawadi) in Maharastra.

Kathis were the ones from whom Marathas experienced the strongest opposition.[9]

James Tod on Kathis

James Tod is a pioneer historian on Jats who thoroughly scrutinized the bardic records of Rajasthan and Gujarat and also brought to light over a dozen inscriptions on the Jats. We reproduce the Chapter 7 Catalogue of the Thirty Six Royal Races from Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume I, Publisher: Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press 1920, p. 133-134:

Kathi

[p.133]: Of the ancient notices of this people much has been already said, and all the genealogists, both of Rajasthan and Saurashtra, concur in assigning it a place amongst the royal races of India. It is one of the most important tribes of the western peninsula, and which has effected the change of the name from Saurashtra to Kathiawar.

Of all its inhabitants the Kathi retains most originality : his religion, his manners, and his looks, all are decidedly Scythic. He occupied, in the time of Alexander, that nook of the Panjab near the confluent five streams. It was against these Alexander marched in person, when he nearly lost his life, and where he left such a signal memorial of his vengeance. The Kathi can be traced from these scenes to his present haunts. In the earlier portion of the Annals of Jaisalmer mention is made of their conflicts with the Kathi ; and their own traditionsfix their settlement in the peninsula from the south-eastern part of the valley of the Indus, about the eighth century. The late Captain Macmurdo, whose death was a loss to the service and to literature, gives an animated account of the habits of the Kathi. His opinions coincide entirely with my own regarding this race. [10] Under the Mahrattas Kathiawar, the name of the Kathi tract, was extended to the whole of Saurashtra. [11]

In the twelfth century the Kathi were conspicuous in the wars with Prithwiraja, there being several leaders of the tribe attached


[p.134]: to his army, as well as to that of [112] his rival, the monarch of Kanauj.1 Though on this occasion they acted in some degree of subservience to the monarch of Anhilwara, it would seem that this was more voluntary than forced.

The Kathi still adores the sun,2 scorns the peaceful arts, and is much less contented with the tranquil subsistence of industry than the precarious earnings of his former predatory pursuits. The Kathi was never happy but on horseback, collecting his blackmail, lance in hand, from friend and foe.

We will conclude this brief sketch with Captain Macmurdo's character of this race, " The Kathi differs in some respects from the Rajput. He is more cruel in his disposition, but far exceeds him in the virtue of bravery ;3 and a character possessed of more energy than a Kathi does not exist. His size is considerably larger than common, often exceeding six feet. He is sometimes seen with light hair and blue-coloured eyes. His frame is athletic and bony, and particularly well adapted to his mode of life. His countenance is expressive, but of the worst kind, being harsh, and often destitute of a single mild feature."4


1 It is needless to particularise them here. In the poems of Chand, some books of which I have translated and purpose giving to the public, the important part the Kathi had assigned to them will appear.
2 [In the form of a symbol like a spider, the rays forming the legs (BO, ix. Part i. 257).]
3 It is the Rajput of Kathiawar, not of Rajasthan, to whom Captain Macmurdo alludes.
4 Of their personal appearance, and the blue eye indicative of their Gothic or Getic origin, the author will have occasion to speak more particularly in his personal narrative.

Expedition of Salivahan II against the Catti or Kathi

James Tod[12] writes that Salivahan II, a name of celebrity in the Bhatt annals, renewed in the of Jaisal, succeeded in S. 1224 (A.D. 1168). His first expedition against the Catti or Cathi tribe, who, under their leader, Jogbhao, dwelt between the city of Jalore and the Aravulli.2 The Cathi Rao was killed, and his horses and camels were carried to Jessulmer. The fame of this exploit exalted the reputation of Salivahan II. He had three sons, Beejir, Banar, and Hasso.

Notable persons

Reference

  1. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan By H. W. Bellew, The Oriental University Institute, Woking, 1891, p.17,103,106,112,119,120,145,168
  2. James Todd, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume I,: Chapter 7 Catalogue of the Thirty Six Royal Races, pp.133-134
  3. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan By H. W. Bellew, The Oriental University Institute, Woking, 1891, p.17
  4. James Tod: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume II, Annals of Jaisalmer, p.222,fn.2
  5. Folk Tales Of Gujarat By Alaka Shankar Page 23
  6. People of India Gujarat Volume XXI Part Two edited by R.B Lal, P.B.S.V Padmanabham, G Krishnan & M Azeez Mohideen, p.614
  7. People of India Gujarat Volume XXI Part Two edited by R.B Lal, P.B.S.V Padmanabham, G Krishnan & M Azeez Mohideen, pp.614-619
  8. People of India Gujarat Volume XXI Part Two edited by R.B Lal, P.B.S.V Padmanabham, G Krishnan & M Azeez Mohideen, pp. 614-619
  9. Wilberforce-Bell, Capt. H. The History of Kathiawad from the earliest times. p. 1.
  10. See vol. i. p. 270, Trans. Soc. of Bombay. [For accounts of the Kathi see BG, ix. Part i. 252 ft'., viii. 122 ff.
  11. Wilberforce-Bell, Hist, of Kathiawad, 132 f.
  12. James Tod: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume II, Annals of Jaisalmer, p.222

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