Gujjars live a purely nomadic life. They wander throughout the year
in search of pastures for their buffaloes and cows. They live in joint
families and are monogamous. They are mostly Muslims. The men keep typical
beards and wear turbans. The women wear kurta and pyjama, similar
to the Kashmiri Muslim women.
The Gujjars were originally Hindus but were converted
to Islam during the reign of Aurangzeb. The Chandels, the Chauhans, Chechis
Bania and Bhatti are some of their branches. Milk and corn meal are their
staple food. This tribe has migrated into Chamba from Jammu and Kashmir.
The favourite dress of the Gujjars is salwar, kurta,
waistcoat, coat, turban, tehmad ( a sarong like garment) and dhoti. They
love embroidery. A folded sheet on the shoulders, a stick in the hand,
a carelessly tied turban and a short beard are the typical signs of a
Gujjar. They speak Hindustani (called Goojari by them). Due to their nomadic
life style, the level of literacy in this tribe is low.