What holds good in the case of Bhils generally holds good in the case of other unsettled tribes, the Vanjaras, Varlis, Kolis and Tadvis. Vanjara or Vanjari is a corrupt form of Vanacara i.e. moving about in the forests. Caran also comes from the same root. Gowar means a cowkeeper and Bhusar means a grain carrier. Similarly Laman means a carrier of salt, lavana. Most of these have lost their time honoured occupations and they have mostly settled down as agriculturists. Vanjaras once wandered about with their flocks of oxen over vast areas. Their business was to bring bullocks from Malva, to load them with wheat and go from place to place to sell it. They went down the ghats, even to the Konkan districts. Once they used to carry their wares to Surat, Navsari and Kalyan in the west and Nemad, Nagpur and Jabalpur in the north and east, with their bullocks packed and in bands or armies of thousands, but the growth of transport facilities like railways and metalled roads nearly killed their trade. Now one rarely sees a tanda i.e. a caravan of Vanjara families camping from place to place in their coarse tents with bullocks.
There are ten divisions among the Vanjaras and they differ widely in their habits, though they are said to be alike in temper brave, proud, spiteful and touchy. Though generally well-behaved, the wandering, Vanjaras were often under police surveillance. They mostly worship Balaji or Khandoba. Their priests are Brahmans. They observe all Hindu holidays but Gokul Astami is their favourite. Some of the divisions eat together but do not intermarry. Every settlement of the Vanjaras has its hereditary headman who is called Naik who acts as arbitrator in caste disputes. He also used to direct the movements of the caravan while travelling. If any old family has no suitable representative for being
elected Naik, a fresh man of some rich and good family is chosen. On election he is presented a turban and clothes in token of allegiance. At every council meeting the Naik is the president, with ten or twelve members who must be adult males. Witnesses come in regular order and give their evidence one after another. The council never adjourns but rises only after giving a decision, if even it is at the sacrifice of their regular work.
Among wandering Vanjaras, children are often born away from their villages and in the absence of midwives, women attend to the delivery and no ceremonies are performed. Afterwards when the caravan meets a Brahman, a council is called. The time of the child's birth is explained to him and he fixes the name of the child. Among settled families, when a child is born, they beat drums, fire guns and distribute sugar among relatives and friends. On the fifth day women worship the Satin. Marriageable age differs widely among the various divisions of Vanjaras. Among some girls are married even at the age of twelve while among others it is even 30. But of late among all girls are fairly grown up at the time of marriage. The wedding ceremony is simple enough. Two days before a marriage takes place, the boy and girl are rubbed with turmeric. On the marriage day they are seated side by side on low wooden stools, the girl on the boy's left and the hems of their garments are tied to the accompaniment of music. Priests repeat auspicious verses and women on both sides sing songs and sprinkle handful of jowar on the couple's heads. The ceremony closes with an interchange of clothes. On the second day the couple is bathed together, the women standing around them sing songs while the boy and the girl splash water on each other. After this the fathers interchange presents of turbans and waist clothes. On the third day, there is a great feasting and if the priest is present he is pelted with onions and cowries. Another feast brings the ceremony to a close, the bride going with her husband and his people. Most divisions of vanjaras allow marriage of widows.
When a Vanjara dies, most of the funeral rites and obsequies are like those of the Bhils, except that the dead bodies of Vanjaras are burnt on the banks of nearest streams. In the case of a woman, kumkum instead of gulal is used to anoint the corpse. Children, however, are buried.
The Carans among Vanjaras are a somewhat distinctive group. They are strong and good looking. The men take a special pride in their looks. They wear their hair long and are fairer skinned than the Bhil or the ordinary
Kunbi. They generally carry a comb and looking glass in the folds of their white turbans. They have generally well-set white teeth, full lips, large eyes, hair with a brownish or yellowish tinge, straight noses and a bright look. Their women are pretty enough. Their oiled and plaited hair is filled with dirt and dust while the
tiers of bracelets and anklets keep them from cleaning their limbs. Their petticoats more often than not book like well-worn quilts. The women's tight fitting bodices, the full petticoats, their silver ornaments, plaited into their hair and falling over their cheeks, their huge silver anklets with jingling bells and the tiers of ivory bracelets lend them a strangely picturesque appearance. Since they have taken to agriculture, they are good cultivators and many have become prosperous. Widow remarriage is allowed among them, the rule being that as far as possible a woman should not leave any offsprings in the family into which she was married. When a woman becomes a widow, her husband's younger brother
has a claim over her for wifehood. The caste council meets and the tact is duly noted but no ceremonies are considered necessary. If there is no younger brother or one refuses to take her. the next male relative is called upon to take her as his wife. They acknowledge, all Hindu gods. They have no regular priests, but they respect Brahmans and employ them to conduct their religious ceremonies.