The Land of India • India is a subcontinent because it is separated from the rest of Asia by the Himalayas, the highest mountains in the world. • The Indian subcontinent contains five nations: India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. • India has two fertile river valleys created by the Ganges River and the Indus River.
A monsoon is a strong wind that blows one direction in winter and the opposite direction in summer. • Monsoons bringrain in summer. • The first civilization in India arose near the Indus River after the river flooded and left fertile soil behind. • Can you name any other civilizations that settled along big rivers?
This civilization started about 3000 B.C. and lasted until about 1500 B.C. • There were more than a thousand villages and towns that were a part of this civilization that stretched from the Himalaya to the Arabian Sea. • Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were large, well-planned cities in ancient India.
Harappa and Mohenjo-Dara • The cities had wells, drains for wastewater, garbage chutes, and organized governments. • The houses were made from baked mud bricks. • Most people were farmers. They grew rice, wheat, barley, peas, and cotton.
City dwellers were artisans, who made jewelry, pottery, tools, and cloth.
The coming of the Aryans • The Aryans from the areas north of the Black and Caspian seas • Invaded Northern India in 1500 BCE. • Came through the Hindu Kush
The Aryans moved about in horse-drawn chariots. • Were light-skinned warriors. • Swept down into Southeast India.
Aryan Influence on India • Religion
Aryan Ways of Life • Nomadic tribes. • Led by a RAJAH – chief. • Lived a “wild life” • Waged war • Gambled • Singing • Dancing • Partying
Once in the fertile Indus Valley they settled down – a bit. • Cattle and farming. • Cattle were prominent in life. • This is when it began to be that cows were considered sacred and not to be eaten.
VERY male dominated society. • Women had little say. • BUT – both boys and girls of high rank got educations.
Language and Traditions • As a nomad group – Aryans had no written language. • SANSKRIT – • Major language of India. • Influenced other languages • English • Spanish • French • German
Aryans had EPICS • Long Poems celebrating their heroes • Passed on by oral traditions. • Warriors and priests were responsible for accurately keeping the EPICS and hymns
Eventually writing was developed. • The stories, epics, hymns were gathered into the VEDAS “Book of Knowledge.” • Contained Aryan religious practices.
Without it, we’d know nothing about the Aryans in India. • Unlike other civilizations there are no artifacts or structures of the Aryans in India.
It describes life in India 1200 – 1500 BCE – the VEDIC AGE. • Rig-Veda oldest of the four Vedas was written 3000 years ago. • One of the oldest religious texts still used today.
Only priests and warrior families were allowed to hear and recite the Vedas. • Eventually the priests replaced the warriors with secret and complex ceremonies that made them the highest class.
Each Varna had its own duties. • Brahmans performed the elaborate rituals and taught the Vedas. • Kshatriyas could study the Vedas but not teach it. • Led the government and army.
Varnas became so rigid by 500 BCE • Varnas divided into smaller groups called JATI. • Jati were formed by occupation. • Jati determined your diet, marriage and social customs. • Lived in separate neighborhoods and did not mix socially
The Pariahs • Did unclean work • Skinning animals and tanning hides for leather. • Cleaning barns • Garbage. • Lived outside the villages and shunned.
Indian Beliefs • Priests created elaborate rituals to appease the gods and win favor. • Aryan religion changed into Hinduism.