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The Banjara (also called Gor, Lambani, Vanjara and Gormati) are a community usually described as nomadic people from the northwestern belt of the Indian subcontinent (from Afghanistan to the state of Rajasthan) now spread out all over India.
According to Burman the name Laman was popular long before the name Banjara, and Laman Banjaras originally came from Afghanistan before settling in Rajasthan and other parts of India. The Lamans, according to him, are originally from the independent province called Gor in Afghanistan.
Banjaras were traditionally suppliers of bullock and salt merchants. The word Banjara is said to be derived from Sanskrit word vana chara (wanderers in jungle).
The word Lambani or Lamani is derived from Sanskrit word lavana (salt) which was the principal good they transported across the country.
Banjaras speak Gor Boli; also called Lambadi, it belongs to the Indo-Aryan group of languages. Most Banjaras today are bilingual or multilingual adopting the predominant language of their surroundings.
Banjara art is rich and includes performance arts such as dance and music to folk and plastic arts such as rangoli, textile embroidery, tattooing and painting.
Banjara people celebrate the festival of Teej during Shravana (the month of August). In this festival young unmarried Banjara girls pray for a good groom. They sow seeds in bamboo bowls and water it three times a day for nine days and if the sprouts grow "thick and high", it is considered as good omen.
During Teej the seedling-baskets are kept in the middle and girls sing and dance around them. Banjaras also celebrate the festival of Holi.
Banjaras have a sister community of singers known as Dadhis or Gajugonia They are Muslim Banjaras who traditionally traveled from village to village singing songs to the accompaniment of sarangi.