The term "Outcast" has its roots in the caste system, which is a social stratum based entirely on a persons birth family(usually paternal). The most famous caste system is the Indian caste system, which has since been outlawed, yet the caste a family used to hold, still holds some regard for marriage and other purposes. The caste system in india was composed of the Brahmin, or devine caste which was the highest, and occupied by the priests and people of the church. There was a military class below that, then the common class, and below that the poor. Outside of the caste system are people considered not to belong to a caste; either criminals or socially stigmatized. These people are known as the outcasts. While in western cultures this may be seen as unfair;, one must consider the culture. The people occupying a caste system in India believed in reincarnation, with a persons caste or status being based upon the way you lived your previous life. So being born into a specific caste was an indicator of how your previous life was lived.