Walking with the Hatkar Dhangars

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

Maharashtra is one state that I have visited very often. The Hatkar Dhangars are effortlessly recognizable both in the madness of the metropolitan and the tranquility of the villages.

Hatkar Dhangars
Hatkar Dhangars

Traditionally, the Hatkars are distinguished from other Dhangars by their red turbans, earrings, a coarse blanket and a staff that they carry along with their sheep.

They are sheep herders and can be seen along with their many sheep. The men look for greener pastures during the day while women take care of other chores

The Harkar dhangar women wear a considerable number of rings, necklaces, nose rings and ankle bangles. Women also wear vermilion that covers their forehead in a long horizontal line which is a sign of a married woman. This is a dispatch from how women typically wear vermilion in other parts of the country.

Depending on seasons, the Hatkar Dhangars can be seen taking the flock of sheep and almost their entire households and moving between cities. They roam around the area with their sheep and horses moving and looking for pastures . Their horses are loaded with the minimal belongings they own. This is the typical scene of seasonal migration.