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Bhojpuri, Nagpuri, Hindi

The Chero is a caste found in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh in India.


History and origin

The community claims to have originally been tribal Kshatriyas. Other members of the tribe claim to be Nagvanshi. The Chero are essentially one of many tribal communities, such as the Bhar and Kol, that inhabit the southeastern corner of Uttar Pradesh. They were ruling parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand until they were deposed by Rajputs and the East India Company. [1] They are now found in a territory extending from Allahabad in the west to Muzaffarpur in the east. The Chero have two sub-divisions, the Mahto and Chaudhary. [2]

In Bihar, the Chero are known as Charwa or Cheru and in Palamu, they are known as the Barahazari. The community is mainly found in Jharkhand, especially in Ranchi and Monghyr. Those of Palamau were substantial landowners, and were effective rulers of this region. These Cheros claim descent from the sage Chyavana and speak Sadri. [3]

Present circumstances

The Chero are classified as a Scheduled Caste in most parts of Uttar Pradesh but are a Scheduled Tribe in Sonbhadra and Varanasi districts. [4] They are also classified as a Scheduled Tribe in Bihar and Jharkhand. [5]

The community has a traditional caste council that maintains a strong social control on the community. They are Hindu, but also worship several tribal deities, such as Sairi-ma, Ganwar Bhabhani and Dulha Deo. [6]

The Chero of Jharkhand have two sub-divisions, the Barahazari and the Terahazari. These two groups are endogamous, and do not intermarry. They practice clan exogamy, and their main clans are the Mawar, Kuanr, Mahato, Rajkumar, Manjhia, Wamwat, and Hantiyas. These clans are of unequal status, and the Chero practice clan hypergamy. The Chero of Jharkhand are mainly farmers, with many were substantial landowners. [3]

The 2011 Census of India for Uttar Pradesh showed the Chero Scheduled Caste population as 596. [7]

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  1. Lahiry 2014, p. 30.
  2. People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part One edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 374
  3. 1 2 People of India Bihar Volume XVI Part One edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha pages 229 to 231 Seagull Books
  4. "State wise Scheduled Tribes — Uttar Pradesh" (PDF). Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  5. "List of notified Scheduled Tribes" (PDF). Census India. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  6. People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part One edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 375
  7. "A-10 Individual Scheduled Caste Primary Census Abstract Data and its Appendix - Uttar Pradesh". Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 4 February 2017.