The Basor weaving bamboo baskets in a 1916 book. The Basor are a Scheduled Caste found in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.

Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a lifestyle which often includes an occupation, status in a hierarchy, customary social interaction, and exclusion.[1][2] It is an extreme evolution of a system of legally-entrenched social classes, also endogamous and hereditary, such as that of feudal Europe. Although caste systems exist in various regions, its paradigmatic ethnographic example is the division of Indian society into rigid social groups, with roots in India's ancient history and persisting until today;[3] it is sometimes used as an analogical basis for the study of caste-like social divisions existing outside India. In biology, the term is applied to role stratification in eusocial animals like ants and termites, though the analogy is imperfect as these also involve extremely stratified reproduction.[4]


The origins of the term 'caste' are attributed to the Spanish and Portuguese casta, which, according to the John Minsheu's Spanish dictionary (1599), means "race, lineage, or breed".[5] When the Spanish colonized the New World, they used the word to mean a "clan or lineage". It was, however, the Portuguese who first employed casta in the primary modern sense of the English word ‘caste’ when they applied it to the thousands of endogamous, hereditary Indian social groups they encountered upon their arrival in India in 1498[5][6], as a direct extension of the concept of ‘casta’ in contemporary Portugal. The use of the spelling "caste", with this latter meaning, is first attested in English in 1613.[5]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Kaste
asturianu: Casta
беларуская: Каста
български: Каста
català: Casta
čeština: Kasta
dansk: Kaste
Deutsch: Kaste
Ελληνικά: Κάστα
español: Casta
Esperanto: Kasto
euskara: Kasta
فارسی: کاست
français: Caste
ગુજરાતી: જાતિવાદ
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Caste
한국어: 카스트
հայերեն: Կաստաներ
हिन्दी: जाति
hrvatski: Kasta
Ido: Kasto
Bahasa Indonesia: Kasta
italiano: Casta
עברית: קאסטה
қазақша: Касталар
Кыргызча: Каста
latviešu: Kasta
Lëtzebuergesch: Kast
lietuvių: Kasta
magyar: Kaszt
മലയാളം: ജാതി (സമൂഹം)
मराठी: जात
Bahasa Melayu: Sistem kasta
Nederlands: Kastenstelsel
日本語: カースト
norsk: Kaste
norsk nynorsk: Kaste
occitan: Casta
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ଜାତି
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Kasta
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਜਾਤ
polski: Kasta
português: Casta
română: Castă
русский: Каста
Scots: Caste
Simple English: Caste
سنڌي: ذات پات
slovenčina: Kasta
српски / srpski: Каста
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kaste
svenska: Kastväsen
தமிழ்: சாதி
తెలుగు: కులం
Türkçe: Kast sistemi
українська: Каста
اردو: ذات پات
Tiếng Việt: Đẳng cấp
吴语: 種姓
粵語: 種姓
中文: 种姓制度