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A Page from the Life of the Chhipas: Gleaning from 18th Century Rajasthani Records, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 5, Issue (1), Pages 24-28, January,14 (2016)


The present paper is an attempt to construct the life of the chhipas (block printers) under the Jaipur state during the eighteenth century. It is based on the archival records preserved at the Rajasthan State Archives, Bikaner. In the archives the chhipa records survive in the five major heads: The Karkhanajat Records. It comprises of the Jama-Kharch (income and expenditure; V.S.1745-1848/ 1688-1791 CE) and Roznamcha (daily accounts of receipts and expenditure; V.S.1782-1863/ 1725-1806 CE) which highlight on the day-to-day working of the karkhanas of the Jaipur State. Besides these karkhanajat records I have also used Amber Chitthiyats (V.S.1722/CE 1665). Chitthiyats are correspondence between the state officials and the subjects. These letters provide a great deal of evidence regarding the social and economic status of the chhipas. We get the correspondences between the diwan and the chippas, where the former addresses the complaints of the latter. I have also consulted Jaipur Arzdashst, which are letters wherein chhipas are directly addressing their complaints/ demands to the ruler. I have also used Mawazana Khurd (V.S 1815-1824/CE 1758-1767) papers which is a pargana-wise record of the Jaipur state. It throws interesting light on the chhipas and their profession during the eighteenth century. Archival record is specifically useful in understanding the wage structure of the chhipas.


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