ARTS AND MANUEFACTURES 169
It is impossible to enter into an elaborate dissertation, inter- The com-
esting as the subject would be, on the influence of religion and munities
racial characteristics upon the crafts. The caste system is pro- in Indian
bably a less potent factor than might at first be supposed. arts and
Castes are very rarely trade guilds: in fact, an exact parallel tures.
to the guilds of Europe can hardly be said to exist, perhaps
never did exist, in India.' The same caste may embrace
several crafts, and, as a rule, MLuhammadans and Hindus
engage in the same trade, each working for his own com-
munity. Sometimes they take recognizable sections of a craft
and work separately. At other times they may be found in
the same workshop; and Hindus now often employ Muham-
madan craftsmen, whereas formerly the Hindus were the
labourers and the Muhammadans the employers. Taking,
therefore, a wider conception than that of caste or even
craft, the communities concerned in the arts and manufactures
of India may be grouped as follows, according as they are
(I) Rural industries, directly associated with agriculture
or agricultural produce.
(2) Manufacturing and urban occupations-the textile
(3) Sylvan occupations-the collection or utilization of
natural or wild products.
(4) Occupations connected with mines and metals.
Under each of these four groups both skilled and unskilled
labour find their place. The wild products assume in India
a greater importance than in most countries, on account of
their aggregate value, and also because of the employment they
afford to the poorer communities of the inhospitable tracts in
which they are, for the most part, found.
India may be divided into five great industrial areas, which Local
are enumerated below along with their more important com- distribu-
arn tion of
mercial and artistic productions. industries.
BENGAL AND ASSAM. Commercial. India-rubber, oilseeds
and oil, lac, indigo, jute, paper, hides and skins, silk, opium,
tobacco, tea, sugar, rice, gram, coal, iron, saltpetre, mica, pot-
tery. Artistic and Minor. Ivory-carving, umbrella-making,
shell-carving, DYacca muslins, embroidery, mat-making.
NORTHERN INDIA (the United and Central Provinces, Raj-
putana and Central India, the Punjab and the Frontier Pro-
The nearest approach is found in the caste associations in some of the
towns of Western India.