The People Of India 1868 Cheroo.jpg
A Chero man in 1868.
Regions with significant populations
Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithili, Nagpuri

The Chero is a caste found in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh in India.

History and origin

The community claims to have originally been tribal people. The Chero are essentially one of many tribal communities, such as the Bhar, Pasi and Kol, that inhabit the southeastern corner of Uttar Pradesh. Chero dynasty was ruling parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand until they were deposed by Ujjainiya Rajputs and the East India Company.[1] They are now found in a territory extending from Allahabad in the west to Muzaffarpur in the east. The Chero have two sub-divisions, the Mahto and Chaudhary.[2]

In Bihar, the Chero are known as Charwa or Cheru and in Palamu, they are known as the Barahazari. The community is mainly found in Jharkhand, especially in Ranchi and Monghyr. Those of Palamau were substantial landowners.

Present circumstances

The Chero are classified as a Scheduled Tribe in Sonbhadra and Varanasi districts, but a Scheduled Caste in most parts of Uttar Pradesh.[3] They are also classified as a Scheduled Tribe in Bihar and Jharkhand.[4] They have OBC status in Odisha.[5]

The community has a traditional caste council that maintains a strong social control on the community. With Sanskritization they are Hindu, but also worship several their own indigenous tribal deities, such as Sairi-ma, Ganwar Bhabhani and Dulha Deo.[6] The Chero of Jharkhand have two sub-divisions, the Barahazari and the Terahazari. These two groups are endogamous, and do not intermarry. They practice clan exogamy, and their main clans are the Mawar, Kuanr, Mahato, Rajkumar, Manjhia, Wamwat, and Hantiyas. These clans are of unequal status, and the Chero practice clan hypergamy. The Chero of Jharkhand are mainly farmers, with many were substantial landowners.[7]

The 2011 Census of India for Uttar Pradesh showed the Chero Scheduled Caste population as 596.[8]


  1. ^ Lahiry 2014, p. 30.
  2. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part One edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 374
  3. ^ "State wise Scheduled Tribes – Uttar Pradesh" (PDF). Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  4. ^ "List of notified Scheduled Tribes" (PDF). Census India. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Central List of OBCs for the State of Orissa" (PDF). Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  6. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part One edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 375
  7. ^ People of India Bihar Volume XVI Part One edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha pages 229 to 231 Seagull Books
  8. ^ "A-10 Individual Scheduled Caste Primary Census Abstract Data and its Appendix - Uttar Pradesh". Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 4 February 2017.

Works cited