(Last Updated on : 16/08/2017)
The Kurmi is a Hindu farming caste in India
and Nepal. 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.
Location of Kurmis
The Kurmis can be found throughout India, from Punjab
all over. The Barwar community of Uttar Pradesh
are descendents of the Kurmi.
Etymology of Kurmis
There are a number of theories about the etymology of the term Kurmi. It may be derived from an Indian tribal language
or perhaps a Sanskrit
compound term krishi karmi.
Languages of Kurmis
Kurmis generally speak in Kurmali, Hindi
, Chattisgarhi, Marathi
, Telegu and other south Indian languages.
History of Kurmis
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 settled 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
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 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. The Kurmis were well-known as the cultivators and market gardeners of Mughals
. The Muslim
leaders offered the Kurmi people a highly low-priced rental rates for clearing the jungle and cultivating it.
Culture of Kurmis
These are a progressive community who make fine use of the benefits offered by the government
. The Kurmis are farmers apart from Punjab where they are a landless community who mostly work as gardeners for private and government institutions. They eat seasonal vegetables
and dairy products. Alcoholic drinks are generally not allowed. Kurmis are Hindus although some of them are Buddhists
are generally ruled by the law of sub-group and clan. Marriages are arranged by elders of the families. Child marriages are still fairly common in some rustic areas of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In case of child marriage the gaona which means the brides leaving to the husbands house takes place after she attains puberty. Glass bangles, sindur and a nose-ring
are severely observed as symbols of marriage. The Kurmis have a prosperous verbal tradition of myths and folktales passed down over the generations. Women sing folk songs
on favourable occasions like marriage and childbirth. The musical instruments
which are usually used include the dholak, a barrel-shaped double-headed drum
and the manjira
with a pair of small cymbals
. The All India Kshatriya Kurmi Mahasabha is the Kurmis nationalized level council that looks after their wellbeing.