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The Tank Tribe

The Tank Tribe

The two primary tribes of goldsmiths in present-day Punjab are the Mairs and the Tanks. The two tribes have several gothras in common so it is possible that movement between the two tribes or simultaneous entry by gothras into both tribes has historically taken place. Currently, Mairs claim to have a higher status than the Tanks. This was true historically also, as Rose wrote in 1914 that Mairs did not accept water from Tanks (440).

The Tanks had claimed Kshatriya descent in 1911 but later did not pursue that claim. It may be that the Tank goldsmiths are descendants of the ancient Takshac, or Taunk Rajput tribe mentioned by Tod (69). Rose does write that the Tanks worship the snake as an emblem of Takshac, the founder of the Nagvanshi, or Tank family (443). It would seem that the Tanks have a reasonable case for a claim to Rajput heritage, which for some unknown reason, they have stopped pursuing in this century.

Contact the author: Rajesh Verma
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