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Mr Shivel (Brahmin of Bombay).

Mr Shivel (Brahmin of Bombay).

Photographer: Bourne and Shepherd

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1870

Shelfmark: Photo 127/(66)

Item number: 66

Length: 8.3

Width: 5.1

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Head-and-shoulder vignetted carte-de-visite portrait of a Brahmin, or priest, one of a series of prints of ethnic types and occupations taken by Bourne and Shepherd 1870s. Early Hindu society was divided into four classes, Brahmins (priests), followed by Kshatriyas (rulers & warriors), Vaishyas (traders and farmers) and shudras (servants and labourers) and below them the outcast. This gradually ossified into a rigid caste system without professional or social mobility. Today the government disallows the practice of the caste system but has a policy of affirmative action for the backward classes.

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