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Early Vedic Period or Rig Vedic Period (1500BC – 1000BC)

Political Life
The rig Veda has discussion about early Vedic Period. In this period the Kingdom was tribal in nature. Each tribe made its separate kingdom. The family setting was called Kula. Number of kula together made a village or Grama. The head of a Grama was Gramani. A group of villages constituted a large unit called clan (vis) Several clans formed the tribe (Jana) Theft leader was Rajan, the Vedic king. He protected his people from enemies He was assisted by the purohita or priest, the senani of commandant, the Sabha and the Samithi in administration.

Social Life

The Aryan Society was patriarchal type. The head of the Family was Grahapathi, normally the father of the family. Veda put significant stress on family life and marriages.

Position of Women

Women enjoyed respectable position in society during Vedic era. There was freedom to select husband. The wife of a man was supposed as mistress of a house. Taking parts in public meetings was common practice. There were women scholars like Lopamudra, Visvavara, Ghosha, Sikata, Nivavari and Apala. Women were treated equally as men, however, their position changed in the Later Vedic period.

Economic Life

Hunting was a major activity. Cattle, horses, sheep, goats, asses and dogs were reared. When they settled down in particular places, agriculture became their main occupation. People developed the arts of weaving, training, carpentry and metal work. Trade developed through the exchange of goods or the barter system. External trade with Western Asia and Egypt was carried on. The coins were called nishka. They were used for trade purposes. Cosmetics, sandalwood and ivory were the export items. Horses and dates were imported.

Food and Entertainments

Food like barley cakes, milk, ghee, fruits, vegetables and meat was staple diet. Intoxicating drinks from soma plant and sura from barley were produced for drinking. These drinks were also presented as offerings to God. Chariot racing, hunting, horse racing, dicing, music and dance were the favorite pastimes. Boxing was also known to them. They knew playing veena.

Dress and Ornaments
Men wore a garment like Dhoti. The upper garment was like a shawl. They wore turbans and grew beards. Women wore vasas (under garments), nivi (dress worn at the waist) and Athivasas (the upper cover). Dresses were made up of cotton and wool. Both men and women wore different kinds of ornaments. Ear rings, necklaces, bangles and hair bands were used. Chappals made of leather were also used.


The people of early Vedic Period worshiped nature and God. Fire, sun, wind, sky and trees were worshipped. Prayers were offered to Agni, Vayu and Surya. Agni and Varuna were the most favorite Gods. The most practiced rituals were Yagas and Yajnas. There were no statues of Gods or temples.

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