Ancient India Daily Life, Aryans

The Aryan clans or tribes are called Gana, which means a collection of people. The Aryan clans settled in northwestern India. The Gana were ruled by a hereditary chief who made the decisions after hearing from the rest of the tribe. Anyone could speak at these meetings. Once the chief made a decision, everyone obeyed.

Upon arriving in India, the Aryans lived in straw huts. They soon began building wooden homes. They continued with some of their major social customs, such as a central fireplace.

Dinnertime was social time. The tribe would gather around the fireplace, everyone eating together and sharing news. Those who tended the central fireplace cooked for the rest of the tribe and served as the go-between for the people and the fire gods. This caste later developed into the priests of the Aryans.

The Aryans ate wild game, vegetables, fruit fish, meat from their herds, and bread. Bread was very important to them. They also drank both goat milk and cow milk from their herds.

Aryan clothing was made of animal skins, and later from cotton.

The Aryans brought horses to India. They held horse races and chariot races and bet on the winner. They were warriors and played fighting games.

Once the Aryans settled down and began to grow their food, they developed a caste system. It started with just four castes: priests, warriors, traders and farmers, and finally paid workers. A person was born into a caste and could not move or marry out of it.

Boys were educated by a guru (which means teacher), who taught them to read and write. The guru had absolute power over their students. Even the chief's son had to obey the guru. The Aryans did not use clay or rock to keep permanent records, so although they wrote things down, there are no remains of those records. Only their oral stories survive.

The Aryans were proud, fierce, and deeply religious. They had many gods and goddesses. They loved stories, especially about the first god. These stories became the Vedas, which are the sacred text of Hinduism. The Vedas were finally written down during the Gupta Empire (around 500 BCE).

The Aryans also created two epic poems called the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, which tell about the Aryan way of life, their beliefs, wars, and accomplishments.

Source: Ancient India Daily Life, Aryans
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