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Chang'an research paper- Bari Zeiger, Danielle Wilcox, Mark Ren
Specialization of Labor- Indus River Valley
------------------Specialization of Labor - Indus River Valley------------------
(The Social Caste System in India today is basically the same as it was in the beginning of the Indus River Valley)
While there were no cell phones, laptops, or MP3 players back in the early days of the Indus River Valley, the social ladder above is relatively the same as it used was before the common era. The highest varna was being a Brahmin. Trailing the Brahmins were the Kshatriyas. Lower than Kshairiyas were the Vaishas, Sudras, and Dalits. Like in all of the other River Valley Civilizations, social class defined what kind of job you performed.
As shown in the picture the Brahmin floats atop a cloud while the Dalit at the bottom of the ladder is standing on the floor. This symbolizes how much higher the Brahimin was than the Dalit. Brahmins were the highest Caste in India due to their great spirituality. Brahmins performed sacred fire rituals and were close to escaping the cycle of Samsarra (the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.) Each Social Caste in India had specific roles they were meant to play. These roles included jobs. The roles were known as one's dharma. If one did not satisfy their obligations they would move down in the Caste System and could be reborn lower. Thus, was the motivation to perform ones expected job in life. Brahmins acted as teachers and priests.
These people were the military and noblemen of the Indus River Valley. They made big decisions on who to fight and how to farm. Like in the Nile, they ran agriculture and oversaw irrigation projects and such. These people were responsible for keeping law and order in the Indus Valley and taxed and oversaw the economy. The military men were held in high regard for protecting the home land, and were therefore granted power.
The Vaishas were merchants and traders. They sold goods and produced goods. They could open stores that sold various public wares. Vaishas had potential to make good money and generally could support themselves financially. However, remember that money did not equal power in this society. Brahmins did not always have much money, for in their religion money was material, and the material was ignorance. Vaishas played a very important role in the Indus River Valley, they: made pottery and tools. Tools made everyday life easier and raised the quality of living. Pottery was specific to this region of the world and was a unique art. They made simple things like decorative items. Goldsmiths and craftsmen made key items of trade which included silver, wool, leather, ivory, pearls, copper, lead, gems, and semiprecious stones . In order to trade these good you needed to get them from one nation to another. In order to do this you usaully needed to use a ship, and this is why shipmaking and sailing were also big occupations in the Indus River Valley Civilization. Other big professions were blacksmiths, potters, weavers, jewelers, artists, merchants, masons, and architects.
-The Caste System levels
-an old arctifact showing different social and labor
standards. One the left is probably a lower class like a
Sudra giving a gift to Vaishyas or Kshatriyas.
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