The Caste System of Ancient India
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The Caste System of Ancient India

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Caste system presentation

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The Caste System of Ancient India The Caste System of Ancient India Presentation Transcript

  • The Caste System of Ancient India By: Megan Douglas
  • Origins of the Caste System
    • Indo-European Aryans invaded India in 1500 BC
    • They were warrior people who established control and began to restructure Indian social classifications
    • Under their influence Indian people were divided into five different social groups
    The Aryans
  • Caste According to the Rig Veda The duties of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas, and of Sudras, too, O terror of your foes! are distinguished according to the qualities born of nature. CHAPTER XVIII, pp. 126-127 http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/Germany/Caste Quotes.htm
  • The Different Castes
  • The Brahmins
    • Members of the highest caste
    • Priests and teachers of Sanskrit
    • Performed religious duties and preached Dharma
    • Only caste allowed to teach and attend school
  • The Kshatriya
    • Ranked below the Brahmins
    • Functioned as warriors or army leaders
    • Apart of the military and ruling elite
  • The Vaishyas
    • Below the Kshatriya
    • Traders, cattle farmers, minor officials, merchants and artisans
    • Owned their own business or farm land
    • There were many more people in this caste than the Kshatriyas or Brahmins
  • The Sudras
    • Below the Vaishyas
    • Servants and farmhands
    • Did not own their own land and businesses
    • Were employed by members of higher castes
    • The most populous caste
  • The Harijans
    • Known as “untouchables”, “pariahs”, “the people”
    • Technically not even a caste, below all others
    • Responsible for handling the dead, cleaning up human waste, and collecting garbage
  • The Caste System in Practice
    • Impossible to change castes, even in death
    • Caste status passed down through family generations
    • People from different castes could not marry, befriend, or eat with each other
    • Castes were supported by religious texts
  • Resources for Standard 6.5.4: Outline the social structure of ancient India's caste system
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_in_India
    • http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/india/people/
    • http://www.historytution.com/ancient_india/castesystem.html