the jat - a hidden tribe in gujarat

The Jat - one of the hidden tribes in Gujarat (India).


Dhaneta Jat girls.


The Jats who live in Kutch are particularly conscious of their identity as a group and their sense of unity comes from a perception of shared historical traditions and a belief in common ancestry.

Originally the Jats were herders who lived in an area called Half in Iran. Five hundred years ago these shepherds migrated from Half and came to Sindh and Kutch to search for new grazing lands. They crossed the Rann of Kutch and settled there taking up farming, they became known as Dhaneta Jats. Some have devted themselves to the study of the Koran and are known as the Fakirani Jats. All the Jats in Kutch are Muslims and have similar marriage and dowry customs.


The Dhanetas are the largest of the Jat Communities. They live throughtout north western Kutch. The Dhanetas live in the Banni, herd cattle. The men care for the animals and women remain in camp looking after their families.


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Taken in January 2009