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Social And Religious Life



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Social life Indus Valley The social life of the Harappans can be arranged into following categories :-

  1. Class : It is not proved if there existed any classes or caster as the Aryan's verna system. Based upon the mounds we can assume that there were classes if not castes according to the occupation of the people, probably priestly class and general people.
  2. Dress and Oranments : As far as their dress is concerned, one cannot say anything definitely, because all information about theri dress is based on inferences arrived at from two types of materials; firstly, on the basis of spindles discovered and secondly from the dress of status and carvings on different seals found in those cities. Ornaments were also popular among both men and women.
  3. Religion : Following were the highlights of the religious life of the Harappans:
    • The chief male deity was the Pashupati Mahadeva represented in seals, as sitting in a yogic posture on a low and having three faces and two horns. He is surrounded by four animals (elephant, tiger, rhino and buffalo), each facing a different direction, and tow deers appear at his feet
    • The chief female deity was the Mother Goddess, who has been depicted in various forms to please fertility Goddess.
    • There is sufficient evidence for the prevalence of phallic worship. Numerous stone symbols of femals sex organs (yoni worship), besides those of phallus, have been discovered. Fertility cult was main feature.
    • The worship of fire is proved by the discovery of fire altars at Lothal, Kalibangan and Harappa.
    • Indus people who worshipped Gods in the form of trees (pipal, etc) and animals (unicorn etc)
    • They believed in ghosts and evils forces and used amulets as protection against them.
  4. Script : The script of the Harappans people had 400 to 500 signs and it were not alphabetic but was logosyllablic writing system. Although the Harappan script is yet to be deciphered, overlaps of letters on some of the potsherds from kalibangan show that the writing was from left to right and from right to left in alternate lines.
  5. Games : The Harappans preferred indoor hobbies to outdoor amusements. Dance and music were their popular amusements. Some tubular and conical dices discovered in these cities show that the evil of gambling is as old as history. Another game which they played resembles our modern chess. Marbles dolls and animals toys show that the children of Mohenjo-daro were well supplied with playthings. Fishing and hunting animals were other source of entertainment.
  6. Disposal of the Dead : No definite proof is available regarding the disposal of the dead bodies yet. It is believed that the dead were either burnt completely, cremation followed by burial of ashes and rarely the burial of the dead after exposure to birds and beasts. But R-37 of Harappa suggests grave burial as a large practice.

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