Associated with the status of the gahapati were the kutumbika and the
gamini. The kutumbika was again the head of a family and a man of property
who, in lataka literature, is associated either with a rich landowner who is
often said to be collecting his dues, or with commerce and usuary. An
element of moneylending, in rural areas, is also associated with kutumbika
but probably this again refers to a later period. The word Gamini derived
from the gramani of the earlier period, refers to the head of a band or
professional group or the head of a village. The section of Buddhist texts
pertaining to gaminis includes professions such as soldiers, elephant and
horse-trainers, and stage managers. In the village authority was sometimes
vested in the gamini who was also on occasion associated with the nigama, a
larger settlement, having some degree of exchange and market functions.
                   ROLE OF IRON TECHNOLOGY
  Among other factors associated with wider social and economic changes,
  some of which led towards urbanisation, the gradual utilisation of iron can
  be cited as an increasingly noticeable technological change. As a
  technology it was recorded in the early half of the first millennium BC
  (with sporadic occurrences earlier) but the quantity of artefacts found and
  their function in non-military activities remained small initially. The
  extensive use of iron would have had to wait until metal workers could tap
  these resources.
      The importance of iron technology is not merely that it introduced a
  change in the use of metals but that when the use of iron artefacts became
  more widespread the pace of change, accelerated as compared to other
  metal technologies.
      Its major significance at that time lay in its impact on the middle
  Ganga valley. Even if direct evidence of the extensive use of iron at an
  early date is not very substantial, indirect evidence would suggest that it
  had some impact. Northern Black Polished Ware may have resulted from a
  high firing temperature which was made possible by the higher
  temperatures required for smelting iron as compared to copper. The
  provenance of this particular pottery, in the area between Patna and
  Varanasi, is in the vicinity