Kurmis, Indian Caste - Informative & researched article on Kurmis, Indian Caste
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Kurmis, Indian Caste
Kurmis are one of the native castes of India and representative of the agricultural caste of the society. Kurmis have a large number of sub-divisions in their societies.
 Kurmi caste is the representative of the cultivating caste of the country. They are mostly found in the central province of the country. As per Hinduism, Kurmis is the name of one of the castes or Jatis of the Hindus. The Kurmis are known as the chief ancient agricultural caste of India. The Singraur, Umrao, Chandrakar, Gangwar, Kamma, Kanbi, Kapu, Katiyar, Kulambi, Kulwadi, Kunbi, Kutumbi, Naidu, Patel, Reddy, Sachan,Verma and Vokkaliga all belong to Kurmi caste. Kurmis are regarded as the descendants of some of the earliest Aryan immigrants. Kurmis are the people who are described as a yellowish-brown coloured native, of an average height, regular build and good looks. They are the mixture of aborigines.

Kurmi community is said to be a sub-caste of the Kshatriya Varna. References regarding the origin of Kurmi are also found in Indian mythologies. Lord Rama had two sons Luv and Kush. The successors of Luv came to be known as lavyas and they settled in the region of Kashmir but later moved towards different parts of India. On the other hand, the successors of Kush later came to be called as Kushwahas, who established in northern plains of the country. The Kurmi community used to be the governing bodies in the regions of Maharashtra, Sindh, Gujarat, Kashmir, and in some parts of Pakistan before the Aryan invasion. Kurmi community largely belongs to the Chhattisgarh division and Jabalpur division. Their name has its origin in Sanskrit Language Krishi, which means cultivation or from the word Kurma, which means the tortoise. Few Kurmis belong to Kashyap gotra, as suggested by the scholars. Kurmis are a functional caste just like the Kunbis. In some regions like that in Bihar, they show traces of Aryan blood. The Kurmis largely resemble the features of the Dravidian tribes. Further, some scholars suggest that it is quite difficult to distinguish a Kurmi people from a Santhal Tribe or Bhumij.

Each caste has certain subdivisions, which have diverse origins. It is also said that Kurmis and Kunbis are of similar mixed origin. The main sub-castes are Gaharwar, Chandel and Jadon; these are the names of Rajput clans. The Usrete were from Bundelkhand, they are also known as Havelia. Chandnahus of the central province are considered as another large group. It is also said that the Chandraha Kurmis mainly belonging to Raipur are a part of Chandnahus. Singrore Kurmis are said to have derived their names from the place Singror. Desha Kurmis, Santore Kurmis, Manwa Kurmis and Rakhaut Kurmis are other sub-divisions. Further, each of the sub-caste has several exogamous divisions. Marriage is prohibited within the same clan. They also have several birth and funeral rites. They follow all their indigenous traditions religiously.

(Last Updated on : 28/07/2011)
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