The Thar district has derived its roots from Thar and Pakar. The name Thar has generated its name from Thul, which is the term denoted for sandy regions and Parkar means “to cross over”. Previously, it was known to be Thar and Pakar but now these two words combined one as “Tharparkar”.
It is a district that is located in the south east of Sindh province. More than 200 villages, 90% peoples are living in it. “Mithi” are commonly known as the headquarters of Thar. The large number of region is covered with sand. The common language that is spoken in Tharparkar is called Dhatki which is also referred as “Thari” language. Thari is generally a Rajasthani language. But though, Urdu and Sindhi are also spoken by some people there. There are two classes of mankind; Hindus and Muslims. The population of Muslims is 59% while the Hindu constitutes a population of 41%, according to the census held in 1998.
The Thari culture is the combination of Gujrati, Sindhi and Rajasthani culture. Although, the Rajasthani culture dominates the other two. The Thari music is also being inspired by Rajasthani music, though it has its own feel and music.
The Thar’s people are very innocent, devoted and honest. The nature and mentality of Thari’s are not predictable. They touch everything that looks weird to them to make it certain that it is real and harmless. More than 80% livelihood of individuals depends on livestock and agriculture.
The Thari desert is completely immersed in Folklores which are very significant part of Thari culture. Its culture and traditions are totally different from other cultures in the world. Thar is actually the only district where the true souls of folk music and folklores are present in their real from. It is land of transiting dunes but still people have managed to adapt themselves in such surroundings.
The Panhiari; the girl that carries water in customary clothes and the white bangles wrapped around her arms has been memorialized by the writers and the journalists all over the globe. Thar is known to be the mighty river of Sarswati which used to flows once about thousand years ago. So, Thar is also known as the land of people who have lost their river. Some myths and methodologies commits that the Thar has been derived from “Marthool” which means hostile and harsh land.
The men here are generally tall and dark. Mostly, the men have here long moustaches and beards. They are always used to wear turban which is symbol of dignity and pride for being a Thari.
Thari involves few folk dances like mitco, rasooro, dandan rand and chakar rand. The dandan rand dance is composed of 8 or 10 men, holding one small stick in hand and silk small handkerchief on the other hand, and performs on the beat of Dhol in a circle. The mitco dance is comprised of solo dance performed by man. But this dance form is also performed by women in their houses on the wedding day of their son. The chakar rand dance form is the cultural dance of Thari Muslims. It is performed by men by holding a sword on one hand. The rasooro is the dance based on a stick performed by women.
The Thari women usually wear long skirts “Ghagras” and work in fields with their men and help them to grow wheat. Their faces are usually covered with veils. They mostly wear silvery jewelry. This veil is used as a protection against sand and harsh sun rays and it also secure them for the envious sight of men. The unmarried, widow and married wear totally different clothes from each other so that they can be easily identified. The unmarried girls generally cover their whole arm by wearing bangles. Thari women mostly communicate with the people of their own castes to marry in their family. Chances of meeting women of out-of-caste become much restricted with superior status because the caste of higher class will make strict analysis.
Thar also have very vigorous section of traditional and customary tribes but they share many similar characteristics. Instead of jewelry, dress and traditions, a feature of singularity exists in them which hold them together tightly.
The Hindus mostly organize arrange marriages outside of their tribes. Though, the Muslims remain strict in arranging the marriage within their community.
Many festivals are organized in Thar which gives chances to the people of remote places and villages to see each other and celebrate the occasion together. They all get the opportunity to enjoy dance and music by forgetting all their worries about livelihood. Their living standard is affected by a celebration of religious festivals and change in season. The one festival that is celebrated with full enthusiasm and zeal is the Harvesting season. These occasions provides the depiction of their crafts and artistry.