In Hinduism, Prajapati (Sanskrit prajā-pati प्रजापति “lord of creatures”) is a Hindu deity presiding over procreation, and protector of life. He appears as a creator deity or supreme god viswakarma above the other Vedic deities in RV 10 and in Brahmana literature. Vedic commentators also identify him with the creator referred to in the Nasadiya Sukta.
In later times, he is identified with Vishnu, Shiva, with the personifications of Time, Fire, the Sun, etc. He is also identified with various mythical progenitors, especially (Manu Smrti 1.34) the ten lords of created beings first created by Brahmā, the Prajapatis Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Vasishtha, Prachetas or Daksha, Bhrigu, Nārada.
The Mahabharata mentions, in the words of celestial sage Narada, 14 Prajapatis (lit:caretakers of the Praja), namely: Daksha, Prachetas, Pulaha, Marichi, Kasyapa, Bhrigu, Atri, Vasistha, Gautama, Angiras, Pulastya, Kratu, Prahlada and Kardama who are the caretakers of the fourteen worlds – seven lokas and seven talas.
Kumhar or Kumbhar is a caste or community of India, mainly belonging to Hindu stream of religion. They were since historic times involved in making pots and pottery, or in other words are by profession a potter.
In Hindi, Gujarati language, Kumbhar or Kumhar literally means a potter.
In Hindu social hierarchy, the Kumhars were once considered from lower castes. Kumhar are also many a times identified as Prajapati community of India. The community is found throughout the north of India in the states of Punjab, Himachal, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, etc.
History and Origin
The Kumhars or Kumbhars derive their name from the Sanskrit word Kumbhakar meaning earthen pot maker. They are also known as Prajapati, Prajapat, Kumhar, Ghumiyar, Ghumar, Kubhkaar or Kumawat.
In Hindu mythology, the Kumhars are the ancestors of Lord Prajapati Daksha, son of Lord Brahma. They are mainly known as Prajapati. It is a belief in Kumhars that when God comes on earth in ends of Kalayuga, He takes Birth in Prajapatis and then again Lord Brahma takes birth in his home and the human civilization starts again.So they are always be prud of themselves. In Kumhars it is a custom to Namaskaar all human being and all nature as it is known to them “every thing will be destroyed” (sabh mitti hai). According to some books; the community is further divided into six sub-divisions, the Mathera, Kumavat, Marwara, Timiria and Mawalia. Each of these groups specialize in a particular form of earthwork.
But according to the Prajapatis/Kumhar’s they are all over the world and the origin of the cast is from oldest days in the begining of first civilization when man initiated to prepare/eat/drink food in pots. So the kumhars are also starter of world’s first industry in an actual civilization that used utensils. Also it is considered that all castes come after the Prajapati’s this industry demolished with time now kumhars are mainly found in Pakistan(where pot making is a big industry)/Punjab(India). The kumhars have following surnames(many surnames are shifted to other castes:
* Jhalli: (chalhi) who runs the chuck(wheel)
* Bhopal: (bhoo-bhaal) who searchs the proper type of earth
* Gill: checks the mixture ratio
* Dhillon: accurate speed of the running wheel
* Dubb Doel(Deol)= packers/driers
* Talewal(Talwar)= colouring the raw material
* Kalsi =Kalakaar makes designs
* AKKU= Making the raw material to finalize
* Gohil= Earthen walls makers
Other surnames include: badal/atthi/lidder/suetti/chidimaar/chond/kaundal/khokhar (Kumhars of Madhya Pradesh who also did the wooden work over ages and also fought like wariors in 1857 war.in Punjab when Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji found Khalsa Panth, one of the first khalsa’s was a Ghumar/Kumhar(who was a water bearer also). Shri Bhai Ghanaiya is an example in front of World and was a Kumhar. In india and Pakistan and arround world the potters/kumhars are in minority and are victims of non attention of governments and now a days they do different works and have almost shun their ofiginal work.
Present Circumstances: The Kumhars have almost shun their business but some kept it alive there are kumhars in Indian cotinent that Export their items arround world. It is said that Kumhars have never their agricultural land but now a days they have a lot of bought by them.
The Kumhar maintain gotra exogamy and community endogamy. There traditional occupation remains pottery, but many are now farmers. The community are Hindus of the Shivite sect.