Artisanal Jatis, Jati Panchayats, and the State

Nandita Prasad Sahai

in Politics of Patronage and Protest

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780195678963
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081660 | DOI:
Artisanal Jatis, Jati Panchayats, and the State

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This chapter explores the endogenous world of the artisans, beginning with a general discussion on asymmetrically gendered relationships in craft societies despite the craftswoman’s critical roles in their household economies. The author probes questions of law and the place of customary traditions in judicial dispensations by the state in intra-family, intra-caste, or even inter-caste disputes among artisans. Juxtaposing state governance against local governance through caste councils, the chapter discusses administrative regulation, disciplining, and the organization of artisanal society enforced by these agencies. The author describes self-governance and the role of jati panchayats in some detail, and points out that, in the exercise of power, collaboration between these and the Jodhpur state was mutually advantageous to both. The chapter concludes by discussing the issue of excommunication: the Jodhpur state generally recommended the reinstatement of excommunicated individuals into their communities, mainly to avoid potential criminalization or the migration of artisanal talent.

Keywords: artisanal jati panchayats; Jodhpur state; artisanal talent; artisanal migration; Marwari craftswomen; gendered justice; artisanal caste councils; judicial collaboration; caste excommunication

Chapter.  16840 words. 

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