Writer/critic Hentoff

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Possible Answers: NAT.

Last seen on: New York Times Crossword 30 Jul 17, Sunday

Random information on the term “NAT”:

The Nat are a Hindu caste found in North India and Nepal.


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Those of Bihar claim a Rajput origin, and have traditions similar to the Bazigar caste. The word nat in Sanskrit means a dancer, and the Nat were traditionally entertainers and jugglers. They have fourteen sub-groups, being the Nituria, Rarhi, Chhabhayia, Tikulhara, Tirkuta, Pushtia, Rathore, Kazarhatia, Kathbangi, Banwaria, Kougarh, Lodhra, Korohia, and Gulgulia or Gauleri. The Nat maintain strict clan exogamy, and each clan of equal status.

In Punjab, the Nat claim to be by origin Brahmin of Marwar, whose duty was supply funeral pyres. On a particular occasion, as the community was transporting the funeral pyre, a member of the party died. This was seen as a bad omen, and the community were outcastes. They therefore took the occupation of dancing. They are closely connected with the Bazigar community, who are the jugglers of Punjab. But the two communities remain distinct, and do not intermarry. The community have Scheduled Caste status, and are found mainly in the districts of Gurdaspur and Amritsar.[citation needed]

NAT on Wikipedia