Kutch has been a significant confluence point for different races and people. The nomadic pastoralists are certainly the most interesting and their links can be traced on one side to Marwar and Mewar (regions of Rajasthan), Saurashtra and, on the other side, Sindh and beyond to Afghanisthan, Iran and Central Asia.
The population consists of various groups and communities like Jadejas,Bhanushalis,Lohanas, Jains,Brahamans,Bhatias, Rajputs,Gurjar Kshatriyas,Khojas, Memans, Kharvas, Mali Samaj, Rabaris, Rajgor, Baluch,Kharva Meghvals,Leva Patel,Wankars,Vankaras, Ahirs,Shah, Dhanetah Jaths, Halepotra, Bhadalas, Raisipotra, Sammas, Node, Gosains, Gadhvis, Kapdis,and many more groups .
The great Rabari group is spread over the western plains of India from Kutch to Rajasthan. They are Hindu cattle-breeders and shepherds, falling into three endogamous groups – those of Kutch, Rajasthan and Central Gujarat.
There are further sub-divisions according to region like the Garasia, Kachela, Dhebaria and Wagadia of Kutch. Rabaries worship the mother goddess, Ramdev Pir, horsemen heroes and the sainted dead. In Kutch, after the monsoon rains and their year’s wanderings, they celebrate all marriages on one day only, that of Gokul Ashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna.
The other main group of pastoralists consists of two dozen nomadic and semi-nomadic Muslim groups who trace their roots from Sindh and beyond. The Jath are the largest such group. The others are smaller and live in Banni area, a low-lying, sixteen hundred square kilometers pastureland close to the salt marshes of the Great Rann of Kutch, and also in the surrounding areas.
The main clans are the Halipotra, Raisipotra, Mutwa, Node, Hingorjah, Bhambha, Cher, Junejah, Kaskalee, Korar, Ladai, Nunai, Pathan, Samejah, Sumra and Tabah.
The Dhanetah section of the Jath are also in the Banni. They keep mainly cattle, no goats, and are settled around nearly fifty water-holes on the Banni.
The Jaths are a nomadic community spread over Kutch. They appear to have started their migration to this area, from Sindh, some four hundred years ago. Their main groups are Dhanetah, Fakirani and Garasia. The Garasia Jaths live mainly in the Nakhatrana region of Kutch.