Paul Patrick Borhaug

Photographer
      
The kumhari of Dharavi
Location: Oslo, Norway
Nationality: Norwegian
Biography: Paul Patrick Borhaug  is a photographer and writer from Norway, who primarily works on environmental, political and cultural issues. His images has been published by National Geographic, The New York Times, United Nations , Huffington Post,... MORE
Public Story
The kumhari of Dharavi
Copyright Paul Patrick Borhaug 2023
Date of Work Mar 2012 - Mar 2012
Updated Mar 2019

The Kumhari  (or Kumbhara, Kubhara, Kumar, Kumor, Kubar, Khubar) is popularly known as a lower-caste people found all across India. "Kumhar" literally means pot-maker in Indian languages, as the traditional occupation of the Kumharis is pottery.

Although the Kumhari is commonly regarded as low-caste (formerly referred to as "untouchables"), they themselves do not consider themselves as such. In fact, they see themselves as above the caste system and to be higher than all varnas and castes.

The Kumhari trace the origin of their community to the beginning of civilization. They consider themselves to be inventors of the wheel, the first eating utensils and to have started the world's first industry (pottery).

For over 6000 years they have been an integral part of Indian society, as their arts and crafts permeates Indian's daily life rituals - from teapots to deitiy artefacts. Despite this, the Kumhari people and their communities still face hardship due to high-caste hindus and muslims stigmatisation of the Kumhari as low-caste peoples.


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