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Individual wage payments in India: Agaria's Pay Day (1)

Payday of salt pan workers at Kharaghoda on the Rann of Kutch (Gujarat, Western India), 1919. Under the tent to the right and the left tables at which the British managers are seated, making sure that the workers receive their proper wages. In between a striped carpet on which hundreds of piles of coins, most likely one rupee pieces and foremen who hand the coins to the workers, like the woman sitting in the middle.

The men, women and children are Agarias, "tribal caste" originating from Central India and traditionally occupied in iron smelting and tool fabrication. Here they have been attracted to work for the Governmental Salt Works under its Inspector Khan Bahadur Ghulam Yasin Ghulam Mustapha. At the time they produced one hundred million kilograms per season, or 25 train loads a day. The whole operation required one thousand armed guardsmen in order to prevent smuggling of this highly taxed product.