diverse ethnic groups represented in the Gujarati population may
be broadly categorized as Indic (i.e., northern-derived) or Dravidian
(southern-derived). The former include the Nagar Brahman, Bhatia,
Bhadela, Rabari, and Mina castes (the Parsis, originally from Persia,
represent a much later northern influx); among the peoples of southern
origin are the Bhangi, Koli, Dubla, Naikda, and Macchi-Kharwa tribes.
The rest of the population, including the aboriginal Bhil tribe,
exhibit mixed characteristics.
of the Scheduled (formerly "untouchable") Castes and of
the aboriginal tribes form nearly one-fifth of the state's population.
There is one entirely tribal district of Dangs. Ahmadabad district
has the highest proportion of Scheduled Castes. Gujarati and Hindi
are the official languages of the state. About 70% of the population
are Hindus ahead of minorities of Muslims and Jains. About one-third
of the population is urban. The most urbanized part of the state
is the Ahmadabad-Vadodara (Baroda) industrial belt. Major towns
that were once capitals of princely states are Rajkot, Junagadh,
Bhavnagar (Bhaunagar), and Jamnagar.
folklore and folk culture of Gujarat are traced to the mythology
of Lord Krishna. Dance forms and festivals in honour Krishna exist,
Garba and Bhavai being two examples. Among the most durable and
effective of the state's cultural institutions are the trade and
craft guilds known as mahajans which often solves disputes, acted
as channels of philanthropy, and encouraged the arts. Gujarat's
handicrafts are famous the world over.