Customary Law and Gender Inequality: A Case Study of Pangwala Tribal Community of Western Himalaya

Khyal Chand


India is considered to be an anthropological laboratory because of its regional, religious, ethnic, racial and linguistic diversities. Tribal population is an integral part of the India’s social fabric and has the largest concentration in our country. The present study is an attempt to the customs, and customary laws of Pangwala mountain community related to inheritance of the property. The study is primarily based on the Rawaj -i-Am (District wise statement on custom) and Wajib-ul-arz (village –wise statements of custom). Some legal cases, both decided and pending in the courts to examine the customs and customary laws that exist among the Pangwala are considered for the study which is more contemporary and exploratory in nature. The study reveals that Pangwal had patriarchal, Patrilineal or patrilocal custom law descent of the social group, inheritance of property, and succession of chieftainship is all in the male line, marriage is patrilocal and authority in the family is strongly patriarchal.


Customs, Gender injustice, Pangwala, Western Himalaya

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