Kulindas were one of the aboriginal tribe of India. Kulindas were the people originally within the pale of Aryan social system. However, having intermixed with the aborigines like the Kulutas during the nascent days of their settlement, some of them must have imbibed certain non-Aryan traits that earned them social degradation.
The strains of some of those characters of the Kulindas are still distinct among the present-day Kunets in the form of certain animistic beliefs and practices, in which the ophiolatry is significant one. Thus, such blue-blooded Aryans, who fell from the Aryan social order, came to be defined as the Kulinda, which means the inferior upbringing.
The epic Mahabharata
refers that in the Aryan social satisfaction, the Kulindas were classed with the inferior communities, who established their small forest-kingdom or the vana-rashtra. Inspite of their inferior status, the Kulindas emerged as a powerful warrior community, and the Aryans were obliged to upgrade them as the vratya kshatriya to satisfy their lust for the territorial enlargement.
The Kulindas during their prime days must have been the trading people, as may be inferred from the reference about them in the Mahabharata. The discovery of their coins in a widely scattered area in the territory of other republics and kingdoms also lend credibility to that assumption. It is suggested that finally the Kulindas were assimilated within the Yaudheya fold, when the latter gained predominance in the region after the fall of Kushana Empire. In the process that followed, the Kulindas lost their racial identity, and became a part of the social substratum of the region as the agrarian folk.