The lambada community is known with many names such as Lamani, Lambadi, Banjara Lambani. They are nomadic people of Rajasthan who have now spread across Indian sub-continent. They are considered as the truly descend of Rajputs
Much of their history is not known as they do not have a script and communicate via spoken language. They speak Lambadi language which is mix of Sanskrit, Rajashtani, Hindi, Gujarathi and a blend of local language. Despite of not having a script they have been able to preserve their culture, tradition and language.
- Thandaas (Villages)
They do not generally mingle with people and live in small settlements called Thandas. Their homes generally have a single room with only one opening i.e. the door. The cattle (if any) are generally tied in front their homes.
The doors to some of the Lambadi homes are very striking with simple designs and typical motifs, usually found in vibrant shades of the primary colours. Floral or diamond shapes are made in blue, yellow, red or green to create a simple yet vivid and eye-catching patterns.
The staple diet is dalia made of wheat or jowar. They are known to make jowar ki roti and team with simple but spicy gravy made of tomatoes and onions.
- Dress and attire – Woem
The most striking feature of this community is their dress and attire. Women usually wear bright and colorful cotton attires like a voluminous frilly long skirt or a ghagra (called phetiya) and a short sleeved top that is embroidered in the front and tied behind (called kanchalli )
- Dress and attire – Women
They use mirror chips and coins to decorate it. The veil (called Tukri) is also embroidered decoratively. Women put on thick and usually white bangles (bandiya) on their arms. Their jewellery consists of silver rings, coins, chain and hair pleats are tied together at the end. They are often mistaken for large earrings when they are in fact tied to the plaited hair locks
- Dress and attire – Men
The clothing of men is ordinary which consists of a dhoti, kurta and a turban. The design of these clothes was generally meant to protect them from the harsh desert climates and also to distinguish themselves from others. As they were forest dwellers initially, the mirrors on their dress generally used to protect from animals by displaying the animals and also to scare away the beasts.
Mostly the community is uneducated and have a sharp memory despite illiteracy. Their occupation was cattle herding and moved from places to protect cattle from famines and harsh conditions. They used to travel long distance to purchase merchandise and sell them in remote villages. Both men and women are generally strongly built owing to their diet.
- Dance and Music
The striking feature of this community is their traditional dance and music. These people are generally good dancers and musicians
With the rapid modernisation, the community has been shifting its base to urban areas where they live in small bastis. The women in this generation generally do not wear the traditional dress but wear the normal sarees. Now this community has also been moved to agriculture and can be found as farmers.
- Social Stature
This community has different social stature in different states. They are considered as scheduled tribes in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Scheduled castes In Karnataka, backrward class and forward castes in states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.