By rigid precedence the Brahmans occupy the first rank; they are numerous and influential, and with them may be classed the peculiar and important caste of Bhats, the keepers of secular tradition and of the genealogies.
The most valuable part of his property still consisted of flocks and herds, or the products of the labours of his serfs, a large proportion of whom were bee-keepers, hunters and fishers employed in and around the interminable virgin-forests of the rough-hewn young monarchy.
In addition, the communes have a right to levy a, surtax not exceeding 50% of the quota levied by the state upon lands and buildings; a family tax, or fuocatico, upon the total incomes of families, which, for fiscal purposes, are divided into various categories; a tax based upon the rent-value of houses, and other taxes upon cattle, horses, dogs, carriages and servants; also on licences for shopkeepers, hotel and restaurant keepers, &c.; on the slaughter of animals, stamp duties, one-half of the tax on bicycles, &c. Occasional sources of interest are found in the sale of communal property, the realization of communal credits, and the contraction of debt.
1 It is a common practice of keepers of dogs to place a piece of roll sulphur in the animal's water but this serves no useful purpose owing to this property.
The Levites, who formerly ministered in the high places, now discharge the subordinate offices of gate-keepers and slaughterers of the sacrificial victims.