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Majority: Hinduism Minority: Islam · Buddhism · Jainism

Related ethnic groups

Magahi people · Bhojpuris · Awadhis

Maithils
Maithils
(Tirhuta: মৈথিল, Devanagri: मैथिल), also known as Maithili people, are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group who speak the Maithili language
Maithili language
and inhabit the Mithila region, which is now situated mainly in northern and eastern Bihar
Bihar
of India
India
and some adjoining districts of the eastern Terai
Terai
of Nepal.[5][6][7] There is also a large population of Maithils
Maithils
living in Jharkhand
Jharkhand
and they are mainly found in Deoghar and Godda districts.[8] The Maithil homeland forms an important part of Hindu mythology as it is said to be the birthplace of Sita, the wife of Ram.[9] "Pure" Maithil culture is said to be found in the villages of Madhubani district in Bihar.[10]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Vedic period 1.2 Medieval period

2 Region

2.1 India 2.2 Nepal

3 Ethnicities and castes 4 Language 5 Culture

5.1 Household structure 5.2 Religious practices

6 Cross-border regionalism 7 Notable people 8 See also 9 References 10 Bibliography

History Main article: History of Mithila Region See also: Videha
Videha
and Vajji Vedic period Mithila first gained prominence after being settled by Indo-Aryan speaking peoples who established the Videha
Videha
kingdom. During the late Vedic period
Vedic period
(c. 1100-500 BCE), Videha
Videha
became one of the major political and cultural centers of South Asia, along with Kuru and Pañcāla. The kings of the Videha
Videha
Kingdom were called Janakas.[11] The Videha
Videha
Kingdom later became incorporated into the Vajji confederacy which was based in Mithila.[12] Medieval period Main articles: Karnatas of Mithila, Oinwar dynasty, and Raj Darbhanga From the 11th century to the 20th century, Mithila was ruled by various indigenous dynasties. The first of these were the Karnatas, who were of Parmar Rajput
Rajput
origin, the Oinwar dynasty, who were Maithil Brahmins, and the Khandavalas of Raj Darbhanga, who were also Maithil Brahmins.[13] It was during this period that the capital of Mithila was shifted to Darbhanga.[14][15] Region Main articles: Mithila (region); Mithila, India; and Mithila, Nepal India Majority of Maithils
Maithils
normally reside north of the Ganges; based around Darbhanga
Darbhanga
and the rest of North Bihar. [16] Native Maithili speakers also reside in Delhi, Kolkata, Patna, Ranchi
Ranchi
and Mumbai.[17] Indian Mithila comprises the West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Begusarai, Munger, Khagaria, Saharsa, Madhepura, Supaul, Purnia, Araria, Katihar, Kishanganj, Bhagalpur, Godda, Deoghar and Banka districts.[18][19] Darbhanga
Darbhanga
in particular played an important role in the history of Mithila and is considered one of its "core centers". It was the center of Raj Darbhanga
Raj Darbhanga
who ruled most of the region.[20] Madhubani was also where Madhubani paintings
Madhubani paintings
originated from which is a major part of Maithil culture.[21] Sitamarhi
Sitamarhi
is claimed by many to be the birthplace of Goddess Sita
Sita
with Sitakund being a major pilgrimage site. Baliraajgadh, situated in present-day Madhubani district, is thought to be the capital of ancient Mithila Kingdom.[22] Maithils
Maithils
played a major role in building the Baidyanath Temple
Baidyanath Temple
which is an important pilgrimage site for them.[23] Nepal Most of the region from Jhapa[citation needed] to Parsa in Nepal (centered around Janakpur, in southeastern Nepal) form Nepalese Mithila.[citation needed] This area was part of the kingdom of Videha.[24] The kingdom appears in the Ramayana. Many people claim Janakpur
Janakpur
to be the birthplace of Goddess Sita
Sita
but this is disputed as many consider Sitamarhi
Sitamarhi
as Her birthplace. Maithils
Maithils
in Nepal
Nepal
have been working towards a "Free Maithil state".[25] There was a movement in the Maithili speaking areas of Nepal
Nepal
for a separate state, which concluded after the Constitution of Nepal
Nepal
2015 guaranteed it and Province No. 2
Province No. 2
was established. The 2015 Constitution transformed the country into the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, with a total of 7 provinces.[26] Ethnicities and castes Many ethnic groups and castes inhabit the Mithila region, these include Maithil Brahmins, Rajputs, Bhumihars, Karan Kayasthas, Ahirs, Kurmis, Koeris, Baniyas
Baniyas
and many more.[27] Maithil Brahmins are the Hindu Brahmin
Brahmin
community of the Mithila region. They are one of the five Pancha-Gauda Brahmin
Brahmin
communities.[28] They are also noted for panjis, the extensive genealogical records maintained for the last twenty-four generations. Rajputs are scattered throughout the region and are divided into various sub-clans with the most prominent being the Gandhawarias who ruled estates mainly in Saharsa
Saharsa
and Madhepura.[29] The Rajputs of Mithila maintain social and marital relations with Rajputs of other regions.[citation needed] Language The common language of Maithil people is Maithili, which is one of the recognised regional languages of India
India
and the second national language of Nepal
Nepal
listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution and the Interim Constitution of Nepal. It is an ancient language, from which Nepali, Bengali and related scripts have evolved.[citation needed] The oldest example of this Mithilakshar or Tirhuta
Tirhuta
script is a Shiva temple inscription in Tilkeshwarsthāna (near Kusheshwarsthāna, in Darbhangā district), in which it is mentioned in Eastern Māgadhi Prākrit that the temple was built on "Kāttika sudi" (Kārtika Shukla pratipadā, or the first tithi in the bright half of the Hindu lunar month of Kārtika) in "Shake 125" (AD 203) on the day after Diwāli (still regarded as auspicious for installing an icon in a temple). The script of the inscription is little different from modern Maithili script. However, during the 20th century most Maithili writers gradually adopted Devanagari script for Maithili.[30] Some traditional pandits still use Tirhutā or Mithilākshara script for pātā (ceremonial letters related to important functions, such as marriage). Fonts for this script were developed in 2003.[citation needed] Culture

The Paag
Paag
is the tradition headgear of the Maithil people

The most striking aspects of their environment are the decorated rice containers, colorfully painted verandahs and outer walls of their homes using only available materials like clay, mud, dung and grass. Much of the rich design is rooted in devotional activities and passed on from one generation to the next, occasionally introducing contemporary elements such as a bus or an airplane.[31] Household structure Traditionally Maithils
Maithils
lived in Badaghars called longhouses with big families of many generations, sometimes 40–50 people. All household members pool their labor force, contribute their income, share the expenditure and use one kitchen.[32] Religious practices The religious practices of the Maithils
Maithils
is based on orthodox Hinduism as Mithila has historically been a principal seat of Hindu learning.[33] Cross-border regionalism Mithila regionalism unites Maithils
Maithils
of India
India
and Maithils
Maithils
of Nepal from both sides of international border. Since they share a common history, language, culture, and ethnicity, they feel part of one Mithila. Positive events on one side of the international border are celebrated on the other side, and negative events are mourned on both sides.[34] Notable people

Singer Udit Narayan
Udit Narayan
Jha

Sita
Sita
– wife of the Hindu figure Ram King Janaka
Janaka
– king of the Videha
Videha
kingdom Kirti Azad
Kirti Azad
- former Indian cricketer and politician from Darbhanga Udit Narayan
Udit Narayan
– Bollywood playback singer Harisimhadeva - King of Mithila during the Karnata dynasty. Jyotirishwar Thakur – Maithili poet and writer Vidyapati
Vidyapati
- Maithili poet and a Sanskrit writer Kameshwar Singh Bahadur - the last zamindar of Raj Darbhanga
Raj Darbhanga
in India Ram Baran Yadav
Ram Baran Yadav
- former president of Nepal Kranti Prakash Jha - Bollywood actor and model Gangesha Upadhyaya - 12th-century Indian mathematician and philosopher

See also

History of Mithila Region Culture of Mithila Region

References

^ " Kirti Azad
Kirti Azad
demands a separate Mithila state". m.indiatoday.in. Retrieved 14 February 2017.  ^ Dr. Arun C. Mehta. "District-wise Population (Census) Data: 2001 Census, India". Educationforallinindia.com. Retrieved 18 July 2013.  ^ Dr. Arun C. Mehta. "Maithil Population (Nepali Census) Data: 2011 Census, Nepal". Educationforallnepal.com. Retrieved 18 July 2013.  ^ "Demographics of Maithil population of Nepal".  ^ "The Politics of India
India
Since Independence". p. 184. Retrieved 15 February 2017.  ^ Gellner, D.; Pfaff-Czarnecka, J.; Whelpton, J. (2012). Nationalism and Ethnicity in a Hindu Kingdom: The Politics and Culture of Contemporary Nepal. Taylor & Francis. p. 251. ISBN 9781136649561. Retrieved 14 February 2017.  ^ Burman, B.K.R.; Chakrabarti, S.B. (1988). Social Science and Social Concern: Felicitation Volume in Honour of Professor B.K. Roy Burman. Mittal Publications. p. 411. ISBN 9788170990628. Retrieved 14 February 2017.  ^ https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=LIkd7opbWI0C&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=maithils+deoghar&source=bl&ots=hdgiweDdDu&sig=WOh5ctDoWb-twoACq0RYPcF0ENE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwii-b6MiIvaAhWSOsAKHTg4C5UQ6AEIXjAG#v=onepage&q=maithils%20deoghar&f=false ^ Minahan, J.B. (2012). Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598846607. Retrieved 14 February 2017.  ^ Gellner, D.; Pfaff-Czarnecka, J.; Whelpton, J. Nationalism and Ethnicity in a Hindu Kingdom: The Politics and Culture of Contemporary Nepal
Nepal
Studies in Anthropology and History. Routledge, 2012. p. 250. ISBN 9781136649561.  ^ Michael Witzel (1989), Tracing the Vedic dialects in Dialectes dans les litteratures Indo-Aryennes ed. Caillat, Paris, pages 13, 141–143 ^ Raychaudhuri Hemchandra (1972), Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp. 85–86 ^ "Anthropology of Ancient Hindu Kingdoms: A Study in Civilizational Perspective". Retrieved 11 December 2016.  ^ "Wetlands management in North Bihar". Retrieved 14 December 2016.  ^ "Anthropology of Ancient Hindu Kingdoms: A Study in Civilizational Perspective". Retrieved 14 December 2016.  ^ " Bihar
Bihar
district gazetteers, Volume 17". p. 16. Retrieved 10 December 2016.  ^ Cite error: The named reference e16 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Makhan Jha (1 January 1997). Anthropology of Hindu Kingdom of Nepal: A Study in Civilizational Perspective. M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd. pp. 38–. ISBN 978-81-7533-034-4.  ^ Kumāra, B. B. (1998). Small States Syndrome in India. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company.  ^ "Anthropology of Ancient Hindu Kingdoms: A Study in Civilizational Perspective". p. 62. Retrieved 10 December 2016.  ^ "Madhubani paintings". Retrieved 10 December 2016.  ^ "नालंदा ने आनंदित किया लेकिन मिथिला के बलिराजगढ़ की कौन सुध लेगा ? - News of Bihar". NewsOfBihar.com. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2017.  ^ https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=LIkd7opbWI0C&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=maithils+deoghar&source=bl&ots=hdgiweDdDu&sig=WOh5ctDoWb-twoACq0RYPcF0ENE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwii-b6MiIvaAhWSOsAKHTg4C5UQ6AEIXjAG#v=onepage&q=maithils%20deoghar&f=false ^ Michael Witzel (1989), Tracing the Vedic dialects in Dialectes dans les litteratures Indo-Aryennes ed. Caillat, Paris, pages 13, 17 116–124, 141–143 ^ "Nationalism and Ethnicity in a Hindu Kingdom". Retrieved 8 December 2016.  ^ Burkert, C. (2012). "Defining Maithil Identity". In Gellner, D.; Pfaff-Czarnecka, J.; Whelpton, J. Nationalism and Ethnicity in a Hindu Kingdom: The Politics and Culture of Contemporary Nepal. London, New York: Routledge. pp. 241–273. ISBN 9781136649561.  ^ "Anthropology of Ancient Hindu Kingdoms: A Study in Civilizational Perspective". pp. 32–35. Retrieved 6 February 2017.  ^ Venkatesa Iyengar (1932). The Mysore of Brahmins of Mithila region of Nepal. Mittal Publications. p. 301. GGKEY:XFC5XHQ9E3J.  ^ "The Journal of the Bihar
Bihar
Purāvid Parishad, Volumes 7-8". pp. 412–415. Retrieved 6 February 2017.  ^ Chaudhary, Pranava (May 22, 2011). "US scholar's project of encoding Tirhuta
Tirhuta
script into digital media". The Times of India. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 26 July 2013.  ^ Meyer, K. W., Deuel, P. (1997). "The Maithils
Maithils
of the Terai-Madhesh". Indigo Gallery, Kathmandu. Retrieved 7 December 2006. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Lam, L. M. (2009). "Park, hill migration and changes in household livelihood systems of Maithils
Maithils
in Central Nepal" (PDF). University of Adelaide. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-28.  ^ "A History of Indian Logic: Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Schools". Retrieved 8 December 2016.  ^ " Maithils
Maithils
of India
India
mourned for Maithils
Maithils
of Nepal
Nepal
who losts lives in Janakpur
Janakpur
bombing 9205721". Jagran.com. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 

Bibliography

Alan R. Beals & John Thayer Hitchcock (1960). "Field Guide to India". India: National Academies. 

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