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BHOGTAHS.

The Bhogtahs are one of the "Goshtis" or clans into which the Khyrwars are divided.  They are found in many parts of Chota Nagpoor, but are most numerous and have been longest resident, in Palamow.  They are said to have migrated from the hills west of Rhotas; there is a place there called Khyra, supposed to be named after them, and they are found about the Khyrmoor Hills. The Rajah of Turki in that vicinity is a Khyrwar.  In Chota Nagpoor the Rajah of Koondah, west of Hazareebaugh, and the Bhaya of Checharee, in Palamow, are the leading men of the tribe.

The Bhogtahs are generally a dark ill-favoured race, with coarse features, and though they have no language of their own (speaking only a dialect of Hindee), and no very anti-Hindoo customs, it is probable that, with the Rujwars, the Ghatwars, the Boyars, and others, they are remnants of the aboriginal races who have lost all distinctive characteristics, except those of physiognomy, by early submission to, and residence amongst, the Hindoo tribes.

The specimen given in the photograph is the son of a well-known petty "Laird" of Chota Nagpore, who, with a few of his clan, was introduced into the country by the Maharajah when the latter found it necessary to obtain assistance to support him in subjecting the Moondahs and Oraons to his authority.  The estate of this Bhogtah family is called "Bhawra Pahar," the Hill of Bees.  This is a huge mass of granite beneath which he has built his house at the head of a little valley approached through a defile.

In former days this gentleman bore a very bad character, and indeed the Bhogtahs generally were rather notorious as robbers and rebels.

A small clan of them in Palamow long defied the power of the British Government.  They occupied the hills between Sirgoojah and Palamow, and did very much as they pleased with the cattle and property of their neighbours.  At last the country they occupied was given to them at a nominal rent on condition of their keeping the peace and living honest lives.  This kept them quiet till the mutinies broke out in 1857, when the two chiefs headed an abortive insurrection in Palamow.  One was hanged, and the other was transported for life, and died in the Andamans.
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