18 03 2012

Rautes are ethnic group of Nepal who have been preserving their cultural identities for many years. They live approximately one month in a particular place and leave for the next place especially forest area of Nepal. They make such temporary homes around the forest. If any Raute of the member faces the fatal disturbance, they immediately move to the next place. Nowadays, Rautes live in the mid-western part of Nepal.
The Raute deny the exixtence of other Raute groups. However, it is found that their exist a close relationship between the  Raute and the Rajis of Kumaon, a part of India bordering west Nepal and south west Nepal. Historically these groups were all hunters and gatherers, but Rajis have been settled agriculturalists for some time, and they feel that they are unrelated with one another.
The name “Raute” is one of many applied to this tribe in the past, e.g. they are called Ban(forest) Rawat, Janggali and Banmanus(both meaning “men of the forest”). Ban Raja(king of the forest), Raji and Rautiya. The term Raji, Raute, Rawat, and Rautiya appear to all be based on a meaning of “lord” or “prince” and in this case used to distinguish the Raute as “lords of the forest” as opposed to the lords or kings of the cultivated land. Rawat or Raute are also common clan names particularly among high castes and the name of several kings of Kumaon. The tittle “kings(or lords) of the forest” is fairly common among hunters and gatherers in India and Nepal, e.g. among the Birhor and Kusunda.
Products of Nomadic Raute
a.    Koshi        
     Koshi is one of the important wooden bowls which is made plainly and without any decoration. Diverse in sizes, it has lid to fit its open mouth. These are used in the villages in order to keep rice, maize, and other different home products.
b.    Mudhus
     Mudhus is something like a box which is made by cutting a tree trunk in half and then further cutting the section of the wood horizontally. This straight fraction serves as the sides and the lid of the box as well. The signals are carefully marked as to where edges are to be joined and groups are cut with a chisel using the back of an adze as a hammer.
c.    Jhuma
     Every Raute home has one special kind of wooden product which is call Jhuma. This vessel like product has a lid over it which is not for sell. According to them, it takes lots of time and skill to manufacture it but doesn’t pay much by seeling. So this is used for the family purpose only especially in order to prepare alcohol.

             The livelihood of the Rautes is directly linked with these products because they don’t engage themselves in agriculture neither work for remuneration. They don’t even wander in the city in search of lucrative jobs. This skilled tribal community has been maintaining their mode of life by seeling their aptitude in wooden products. They even don’t use any modern weapons to manufacture these products.





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