Mang (caste)

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Māng musicians with drums (Russell, 1916)
Mangs in western India (c. 1855-1862).

The Mang or Matang community is an Indian caste mainly residing in the state of Maharashtra. The community was historically believed to be associated with low-status or ritually impure professions such as rope making, village musicians, cattle castration, leather curing, midwifery, hangmen, and undertaking.[1] In modern day India, they are listed as a Scheduled Caste, a designation which has replaced the former term Untouchable. Their origins lie in the Narmada Valley of India, and they were formerly classified as a criminal tribe under the Criminal Tribes Acts of the British Raj.[2]


Per the 1981 census, the majority of Mang lived in Maharashtra (1,211,335), with much smaller numbers in Gujarat (2,765); Goa, Daman, and Diu (702) and Rajasthan (241).[citation needed]

Social status[edit]

In the early 20th century, the Mang began to form caste associations to advocate their cause, such as the Matang Samaj (1932) and Matang Society (1923).[3][4]



  1. ^ Robert Vane Russell (1916). pt. II. Descriptive articles on the principal castes and tribes of the Central Provinces. Macmillan and Co., limited. pp. 188–. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  2. ^ Bates, Crispin (1995). "Race, Caste and Tribe in Central India: the early origins of Indian anthropometry". In Robb, Peter. The Concept of Race in South Asia. Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-19-563767-0. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
  3. ^ Surajit Sinha (1 January 1993). Anthropology of Weaker Sections. Concept Publishing Company. pp. 330–. ISBN 978-81-7022-491-4. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  4. ^ Prahlad Gangaram Jogdand (1991). Dalit movement in Maharashtra. Kanak Publications. Retrieved 24 August 2013.

Further reading[edit]

  • Constable, Philip (May 2001). "The Marginalization of a Dalit Martial Race in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Western India". The Journal of Asian Studies. 60 (2): 439–478. doi:10.2307/2659700. JSTOR 2659700. (Subscription required (help)).