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The Caste System

TermDefinition
India Area of land on the South Asian peninsula
Aryans Lighter skinned outsiders to India who invaded and put down the native Dravidians
Dravidians Dark-skinned natives of India oppressed by the Aryans
Caste Word meaning "race" of "purity of blood". Essentially stands for social class`
Varna The older system of caste with 4 distinct castes
Brahmins Top tier of the Caste hierarchy. Worked as priests
Kshatriya The second tier in the Caste hierarchy. Served as warriors and rulers
Vaisya Third tier of the Caste hierarchy. Began as commoners/farmers and evolved into the business class
Sudras Native Dravidians incorporated into Aryan society as servants. Would eventually become peasant farmers.
"Twice-born" AKA Pure Aryans. Title given to the top 3 tiers in the Caste hierarchy. Indicated spiritual and physical birth.
Merchants Many of the Vaisya caste would evolve into this occupation
Untouchables The lowest social group in India. Were considered so lowly and dirty that they were not included in the Caste system.
Jati Newer form of the Caste system in which classes were determined by occupation. Thousands of these existed creating subcastes.
First Function of Caste To substitute for a central state as an integrative mechanism for Indian civilization.
Second Function of Caste To represent means of accommodating migrating or invading people who entered the continent.
Third Function of Caste To facilitate exploitation of the poor by the wealthy and powerful
Purusha The Hindu god whom each caste was said to form a body part of
Guru A teacher for boys in their early stage of life
Karma The Hindu concept that the way someone acts during the present life will affect their caste in their next life
Ganges River Valley Location of India
Created by: 1314Jacob_Taylor