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KOLS, a generic name applied by Hindus to the Munda, Ho and Oraon tribes of Bengal. The Mundas are an aboriginal tribe of Dravidian physical type, inhabiting the Chota Nagpur division, and numbering 438,000 in 1901. The majority of them are animists in religion, but Christianity is making rapid strides among them. The village community in its primitive form still exists among the Mundas ; the discontent due to the oppression of their landlords led to the Munda rising of 1899, and to the remedy of the alleged grievances by a new settlement of the district. The Hos, who are closely akin to the Mundas, also inhabit the Chota Nagpur division; in 1901 they numbered 386,000. They were formerly a very pugnacious race, who successfully defended their territory against all comers until they were subdued by the British in the early part of the 19th century, being known as the Larka (or fighting) Kols. They are still great sportsmen, using the bow and arrow. Like the Mundas they are animists, but they show little inclination for Christianity. Both Mundas and Hos speak dialects of the obscure linguistic family known as Munda or Kol.

See Imp. Gazetteer of India, vols. xiii., xviii. (Oxford, 1908).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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