The Halbi speaking people are made up of a number of distinct cultural groups and castes. Halbi speakers recognise over a dozen castes as functional groups within the local culture. Some of these castes originate from the Hindu culture and bear Hindi names but most are strictly 'local'. The castes are ranked according to social acceptability. The Raj Mureas among whom the author lived, are ranked highest on the social scale while others, such as Maharas, are at the bottom and border on untouchability. Some castes share equal status in this social ranking. The following diagram show some of the castes and their ranking. 

Much of the material about the Halbi speaking people that will be found on this website is about the Raj Mureas of Bastar with whom I lived between the years 1967 and 1978.

Old lady, 1973

 

 

Village girls, c1967