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Meaning:

The literal meaning of Prajapati is potter. Prajapati is also known as Kumhars which derives from Sanskrit word ‘Kumbhakar’ which means one who makes earthen pot.

History:

It is said that Kumhars were the first to make utensils in the world. In fact, it is also said that Kumhars were the first to make the wheel as well.

There is also a Vedic background to the name Prajapati. As per the legend, Lord Brahma game sugarcane to each of his sons. Everyone ate his share expect one - Kumhara - who left it along with the clay lump which grew into a sugarcane plant. When Brahma asked the sugarcane back from his sons, only this Kumhara had grown a plant. Hence, Brahma named him Prajapati.

Another popular belief among Prajapati is that at the end of each kala yuga, god comes to earth and takes birth in Prajapati. Later Lord Brahma takes birth in that house and the cycle of human civilization is born again.

Surnames of Prajapati:

Prajapati or Kumhar go by many surnames. Few of the famous surnames are given below:

  • Akku - making the raw material
  • Bhopal - one who searches for the proper type of earth
  • Dhillon - speed of the wheel in motion
  • Dubb Doel - driers
  • Gill - checks ratio of the mixture
  • Gohil - one who makes earthen walls
  • Jhalli - one who operates the wheel
  • Talewal - process to colour the raw material
Population:

Currently Prajapati community is found in 212 districts all over India. They are predominant in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, and Haryana, parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The majority of the population of Prajapat community is found all around the India under various surnames. The total population of this community in India is around 15 million.

Beliefs:

Most of the Prajapatis are Hindus. They worship Hindu gods and goddesses. However, there are a few who are Muslim. We can also find Catholic Prajapatis in Goa.

Present situation:

Due to the increase in utensils made steel and other materials, the demand of earthen utensils went down. As a result, as an occupation this community suffered greatly.

Many Prajapatis have left making earthenware and are doing farming. Many others have become engineers, doctors and have undertaken other professions as well.

Inspite of all this, this community is struggling economically.