KOLIS, a caste or tribe of Western India, of uncertain origin. Possibly the name is derived from the Turki kuleh a stave; and, according to one theory, this name has been passed on to the familiar word " cooly " for an agricultural labourer. They form the main part of the inferior agricultural population of Gujarat, where they were formerly notorious as robbers; but they also extend into the Konkan and the Deccan. In 1901 the number of Kolis in all India was returned as nearly 3! millions; but this total includes a distinct weaving caste of Kolis or Koris in northern India.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)