Fieldnotes: !st lesson with the
Fieldnotes: 2nd lesson with the Genealogist
Male Immortality
Female Mortality
The "Seed Man" and the Patrilineage
The King and the Genealogies
The Male Self
The Dangerous Gift
The Lineage Goddess

Maithil Brahmans are famous for the genealogical records which have been maintained for the last twenty-four generations. All Srotriyas and Jogya, and many Jaibar are recorded in these books which are kept by a class of experts known as panjikars. The books themelves are known as panjis.


They are still kept in the manner of ancient manuscripts on pages 16" by 3", connected by a single string on the left hand side. Once they were kept on palm leaf, but paper is now used. They are so fragile that each generation the panjikar must copy them all over. However, the best panjikars rarely have to consult them, for they have eacn lineage entirely memorized and can recite them from memory at the important ceremony preceding marriage called siddhant.

The worst thing that can happen to a Maithil Brahman is to have his name and line struck from the books. This is, essentially, outcasting, for it will be impossible for him to marry his children to Brahman families recorded in the panjis.