KUN BIS, the great agricultural caste of Western India, corresponding to the Kurmis in the north and the Kapus in the Telugu country. Ethnically they cannot be distinguished from the Mahrattas, though the latter name is sometimes confined to the class who claim higher rank as representing the descendants of Sivaji's soldiers. In some districts of the Deccan they form an actual majority of the population, which is not the case with any other Indian caste. In 1901 the total number of both Kunbis and Mahrattas in all India was returned at nearly 8f millions.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)