India History - Jauhar and Saka refer to the ancient Indian Rajput Hindu tradition of honorary self-immolation of women and subsequent march of men to the battlefield (against any odds) to end their life with respect. It was followed by the Rajput clans in order to avoid capture and dishonour at the hands of their enemies. Such painful method (burning) was preferred over other painless and easy ways like poisoning or hanging.
The Kaavad, a portable, painted, wooden shrine, is made by the Kaavad makers (Basayati Suthars) of Bassi, Chittor, for the storytellers (Kaavadiya Bhats or Ravs) of Marwar. The storytellers unfold the multiple panels of the Kaavad as they recite stories and genealogies of their patrons (jajmans) spread across Rajasthan and adjoining states. http://www.dsource.in/gallery/gallery-0557/index.html