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The Khonds call themselves Kuiloka or Kuienju, which may possibly
be derived from ko or ku, meaning a 'mountain' in Telugu. Their
own traditions as to their origin are of no historical value. They were,
however, probably in possession of the country before the Oriya
immigration, as is shown by the fact that the Raja of Kalahandi was
accustomed until recently to sit in the lap of a Khond on his accession,
while his turban was tied on and he received the oaths of fealty. The
Rajas were also accustomed to take a Khond girl as one of their wives,
while many of the zamlndars or large landholders in Kalahandi, Patna,
and Sonpur are Khonds.

There is no strict endogamy in the Khond tribe. It has two main
divisions : the Kutia Khonds, who are hill-men and retain their primi-
tive tribal customs ; and the plain-dwelling Khonds, who have acquired
a tincture of Hinduism. The latter have formed several divisions
which are supposed to be endogamous, though the rule is not strictly
observed. Among these are the Raj Khonds, Dal, Taonla, Porkhia,
Kandharra, Gouria, Nagla, and others. The Raj Khonds are the
highest, and are usually landed proprietors. Unless they have land they


are not called Raj Khonds, and if a Raj Khond marries in another
division he descends to it. The Dais, also called Balmudia or ' shaven,'
may have been soldiers. The Porkhias eat par, or buffalo ; the Kan-
dharras grow turmeric ; the Gourias graze cattle ; and the Nagla, or
' naked,' are apparently so called because of their paucity of clothing.
The divisions therefore are mainly due to differences of social practice.
The Kutia or hill Khonds are said to be so called because they break
the skulls of animals when they kill them for food. Traditionally the
Khonds have thirty-two exogamous septs, but the number has now
increased. The septs are further divided into sub-septs, which are
also exogamous, and are usually totemistic. The same sub-sept is
found in different septs, and a man may not marry a girl belonging to
the same sept or sub-sept as himself. But there is no restriction as
to marriage on the mother's side, and he can marry his maternal
uncle's daughter.

Marriage is adult, and a price is paid for the bride, which was
formerly from 12 to 20 head of cattle, but has now been reduced in
some localities to two or three, and a rupee in lieu of each of the
others. A proposal for marriage is made by placing a brass cup and
three arrows at the girl's door. If these are not removed by her father
in token of refusal, the terms are discussed. The wedding procession
goes from the bride's to the bridegroom's house. At the marriage the
bride and bridegroom come out, each sitting on the shoulders of one
of their relatives. The bridegroom pulls the bride to his side, when
a piece of cloth is thrown over them, and they are tied together with
a piece of new yarn wound round them seven times. A cock is
sacrificed, and the cheeks of the couple are singed with burnt bread.
They pass the night in a veranda, and next day are taken to a tank,
the bridegroom being armed with a bow and arrows. He shoots one
through each of seven cow-dung cakes, the bride after each shot wash-
ing his forehead and giving him a green twig for a toothbrush, and
some sweets. This is symbolical of their future course of life, the
husband procuring food by hunting, while the wife waits on him and
prepares his food. Sexual intercourse before marriage between a man
and girl of the tribe is condoned, so long as they are not within the
prohibited degrees of relationship. A trace of polyandry survives in
the custom by which the younger brothers are allowed access to the
elder brother's wife till the time of their own marriage.

On the sixth day after a male child has been born, his mother takes
a bow and arrows, and stands with the child facing successively to
the four points of the compass. This is to make the child a skilful
hunter when he grows up.

The dead are usually buried, but the practice of cremating the bodies
of adults is increasing. When a body is buried a rupee or a copper


coin is tied in the sheet, so that the deceased may not go penniless to
the other world. Sometimes the dead man's clothes and bows and
arrows are buried with him. On the tenth day the soul is brought
back. Outside the village, where two roads meet, rice is offered to
a cock, and if it eats, this is a sign that the soul has come. The soul
is then asked to ride on a bow-stick covered with cloth, and is brought
to the house and placed in a corner with those of other relatives.
The souls are fed twice a year with rice. In Sambalpur a ball of
powdered rice is placed under a tree with a lamp near it, and the first
insect that settles on the ball is taken to be the soul, and is brought
home and worshipped.

The Khond pantheon consists of eighty-four gods, of whom Dharni
Deota, the earth-god, is the chief. He is usually accompanied by
Bhatbarsi Deota, the god of hunting. The earth-god is represented
by a rectangular piece of wood buried in the ground, while Bhatbarsi
has a place at his feet in the shape of a granulated piece of stone.
Three great festivals are held annually, marking the dates from which
the new mahua flowers and rice may be first eaten. Once in four or
five years a buffalo is offered to the earth-god, in lieu of the human
sacrifice which was formerly in vogue. The animal is predestined for
sacrifice from its birth, and is allowed to wander loose and graze on
the crops at its will. The stone representing Bhatbarsi is examined
periodically, and when the granules on it appear to have increased it is
decided that the time has come for the sacrifice. In Kalahandl a lamb
is sacrificed every year, and strips of its flesh distributed to all the
villagers, who bury it in their fields as a divine agent of fertilization,
in the same way as the flesh of the human victim was formerly buried.
The Khond worships his bows and arrows before he goes out hunting,
and believes that every hill and valley has its separate deity, who must
be propitiated with the promise of a sacrifice before his territory is
entered, or he will hide the animals within it from the hunter, and
enable them to escape when wounded. They apparently believe that
the souls of the departed are born again in children. Some boys are
named Majhian Budhi, which means an 'old headwoman,' whom they
suppose to have been born again with a change of sex. Children are
weaned in the fifth or sixth year, and are then made to ride a goat or
pig, as a mark of respect, it is said, to the ancestor who has been
reborn in them. Names usually recur after the third generation.

The Khond traditionally despises all occupations except those of
husbandry, hunting, and war. They are considered very skilful culti-
vators in places, but usually, like other forest tribes, they are
improvident and fond of drink.

In 1882 occurred an armed rising of the Khonds of Kalahandl,
as a result of their grievances against members of the Kolta caste, who


had ousted them from some of their villages, and reduced many of
their headmen to a hopeless condition of debt. A number of Koltas
were murdered and offered to temples, the Khonds calling them their
goats, and in one case a Kolta was offered as the meriah sacrifice to
the earth-god. The rising was promptly suppressed by a Political
officer appointed to the charge of the State.

The Khond or Kandh language, called Kui by the Khonds them-
selves, is spoken by 32 per cent, of the members of the tribe in Kala-
handl. It is much more nearly related to Telugu than is Gondl, and
has no written character. Further information about the Khonds will be
found in the articles on the Khondmals, Angul District, and Maliahs.
Khondmals. — Subdivision of Angul District, Bengal, lying between
20 13' and 20 41' N. and 83 50' and 84 36' E., with an area of
800 square miles. The population fell from 66,352 in 1891 to 64,214
in 1 90 1, the decrease being due to the prevalence of cholera and other
diseases, and to short crops in 1896 and 1899 which stimulated emigra-
tion. The density in 1901 was 80 persons per square mile. The
subdivision consists of a plateau 1,700 feet in height, intersected by
circular ranges of hills. Heavy forest still covers much of the area,
and the cultivated lands lie in scattered clearings on the hill-sides and
in the valleys below. A range of hills 3,000 to 3,300 feet in height
separates the Khondmals from Ganjam, forming the southern watershed
of the Mahanadi. The head-quarters are at Phulbani, and there are
995 other villages. The Khonds, a Dravidian tribe, here survive as
a distinct nationality with a history, a religion, a language, and a system
of law and landed property of their own. The villages are divided
from each other by rugged peaks and dense forests ; but a regular
system of government on the aboriginal plan is maintained, the hamlets
being distributed into muthas each under the supervision of its own
chief. Throughout this wild tract the Khonds claim an indefeasible
right in the soil. At no time were they more than nominally subject
to the Baud Raja, who was totally unable to control or coerce them.
They first came into prominence in the early part of the nineteenth
century, owing to the prevalence among them of human sacrifices and
female infanticide. The human sacrifice was a propitiatory offering to
the earth-god, and the flesh of the victims was buried in the field
to ensure good crops ; it was firmly believed that turmeric could not
have a deep-red colour without the shedding of blood. The victims,
or meriahs as they were called, were purchased, as an ancient rule
ordained that the meriah must be bought with a price. The duty of
providing them rested with the Pans, who are attached to every Khond
village as serfs, and who either kidnapped them from the plains or
purchased them locally. These human sacrifices were suppressed with
difficulty by the British Government.
VOL. xv. T


The Khonds hold their lands directly under the Government and
pay no rent or tax, except a contribution of 3 annas per plough for the
improvement of communications. Infant and adult marriages are both
common ; in the former case, the girl is often older than the boy.
The Khonds of the Khondmals recognize two principal gods, Saru
Pennu and Taru Pennu, of whom Saru Pennu may be described as
the god of the hills and Taru Pennu as the earth-god.

[H. H. Risley, Tribes and Castes of Bengal (1891).]

Khonoma. — A large and powerful AngamI Naga village in the
Naga Hills District, Eastern Bengal and Assam, situated in 25 39' N.
and 94 i' E. In 1879 Mr. Damant, the Political officer, was
treacherously attacked here, and was killed, together with thirty-five
of his escort. Khonoma was besieged and taken in November, 1879;
but two European officers lost their lives in the assault, and the de-
fenders retreated to a very strong position above the village on a spur
of Mount Japvo, where they maintained themselves till the end of the
campaign. In January, 1880, a party of these Nagas, though their
village was at that very time occupied by our troops, made a daring
raid on the Baladhan garden in Cachar, more than 80 miles distant,
where they killed the manager, Mr. Blyth, and sixteen coolies.

Khowai. — River of Assam, which rises in the State of Hill Tippera,
and, after flowing north-west through the Habiganj subdivision of
Sylhet District, falls into the Barak near Habiganj. The river passes
by numerous local centres of trade, the most important of which are
Muchikandi and Habiganj, and is largely used as a trade route.
During the rains boats of 4 tons burden can proceed as far as Balla
Bazar in Hill Tippera, and even in the dry season a vessel half that
size can nearly reach the frontier of the District. The total length of
the river is 84 miles.

Khudabad. — Ruined town in the Dadu taluka of Larkana District,
Sind, Bombay, situated in 26 4c/ N. and 67 46'' E., 16 miles north-
east of Sehwan on the North-Western Railway. Thornton writes of it
as follows : —

' Little more than thirty years ago it rivalled Hyderabad in size and
population ; yet now not one habitable dwelling remains. It was a
favourite residence of the Talpur chiefs of Sind, and the remains -of
many of them rest here in tombs of neat but plain construction.'

At present the chief objects of interest are the Masjid, built in 17 10,
and decorated with coloured tiles ; and the tomb of Yar Muhammad
Kalhora, about a mile away, which is similarly decorated. The tomb
is in fair repair, but the mosque has been greatly damaged and is
falling into ruin.

Khudaganj.— Town in the Tilhar tahsll of Shahjahanpur District,
United Provinces, situated in 28 8' N. and 79 44' E., 24 miles north-


west of Shahjahanpur city. Population (1901), 6,356. It is said
to have been founded as a market in the middle of the eighteenth
century, and under British rule was the head-quarters of a tahsil as
late as 1850. Khudaganj is administered under Act XX of 1856,
with an income of about Rs. 2,000. It is a thriving place, with a
considerable trade in agricultural products. The middle school has
95 pupils.

Khudian. — Town in the Chunian tahsil of Lahore District, Punjab,
situated in 30 50/ N. and 74° 17' E., on the Multan-Ferozepore road,
12 miles south-west of Kastir. Population (1901) 3,401, chiefly agricul-
turists. The Katora Inundation Canal of the Upper Sutlej system
runs close to the town. The municipality was created in 1875. The
income and expenditure during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged
Rs. 2,300. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 2,700, derived chiefly
from octroi ; and the expenditure was Rs. 2,400. The town contains
a dispensary.

Khuldabad Taluk (or Rauza). — ' Crown ' taluk in the north-west
of Aurangabad District, Hyderabad State, with an area of 129 square
miles. The population in 1901, including jdglrs, was 14,512, com-
pared with 16,353 i n I 89i, the decrease being due to the famines of
1897 and 1899-1900. The taluk contains 38 villages, of which 9 are
jaglr, and Khuldabad (population, 2,845) * s tne head-quarters. The
land revenue in 1901 was Rs. 43,300. The country is hilly towards
the east and north.

Khuldabad Village (or Rauza). —Village in the Khuldabad taluk
of Aurangabad District, Hyderabad State, situated in 20 1' N. and
75 12' E., 2,732* feet above sea-level and 500 feet above the plains,
14 miles north-west of Aurangabad city. Population (1901), 2,845.
Khuldabad contains the tombs of Aurangzeb and of his son Azam
Shah ; of Asaf J ah, the founder of the Hyderabad State ; of Nasir Jang,
Nizam Shah, king of Ahmadnagar ; of Malik Ambar, the Nizam Shahi
minister ; of Tana Shah, the last of the Kutb Shahi kings ; and of
several Musalman saints. The former name of the place was Rauza,
which was changed to Khuldabad in consequence of the title of Khuld
Makan conferred on Aurangzeb after his death. The extensive ruins
of the ancient Hindu city of Buddravanti are situated on an adjoining
table-land. In addition to the taluk office, Khuldabad contains a
post office, a school, a police amln's office, and a police station. It is
largely resorted to as a sanitarium.

Khulna District. — District of the Presidency Division, Bengal,
lying between 21 38' and 23 i' N. and 88° 54' and 89 58' E. Its
area, exclusive of 2,688 square miles in the Sundarhans on the south,
is 2,077 square miles. It occupies the south central portion of the
delta between the Hooghly and Meghna estuary, and is bounded on

T 2


the north by Jessore District ; on the east by Backergunge ; on the
west by the Twenty-four Parganas ; and on the south by the Bay of

The general shape of the District is an irregular parallelogram, and
it may be divided into four parts : the north-western portion, where
the land is well raised ; the north-eastern portion,
' yS1C ^ from the Jessore boundary down to the latitude of

Bagherhat, where the land is low and covered with
swamps ; the central portion, also low-lying but now brought under
cultivation ; and the southern portion, which forms the Khulna Sun-
darbans, a tangled network of swamps and rivers, in the greater part of
which tillage is impossible and there is no settled population. The
whole District forms an alluvial plain intersected by rivers flowing from
north to south ; their banks, as in all deltaic tracts, rise above the
adjacent country, and the land slopes away from them, thus forming
a depression between the main lines of the rivers. They have, how-
ever, with the exception of the MadhumatI, which forms the eastern
boundary of the District, ceased to be true deltaic streams owing to
the silting up of their heads. The MadhumatI, with its continuation
the Baleswar and its estuary the Haringhata, still brings down a great
quantity of Ganges water to the sea. The other rivers are connected
by numerous cross-channels, and are known by a confusing multiplicity
of names in different portions of their courses. The most important
are the Ichamati (2), the Jamuna (2), and the Kabadak, which discharge
into the sea by the Raimangal.and Malancha estuaries respectively;
and the Bhairab, now a tributary of the MadhumatI, though a great deal
of its water finds its way into the Bay of Bengal through the Rupsa
river. There are no lakes ; but the District is studded with marshes,
the largest of which, the Bayra Bil, extends over 40 miles, but has to
a great extent been brought under cultivation.

The District is covered by recent alluvium, consisting of sandy clay
and sand along the course of the rivers, and fine silt consolidating into
clay in the flatter parts of the river plain, while beds of impure peat
commonly occur.

In the north-west of the District there are extensive groves of date-
palms (Phoenix acaulis), especially on the outskirts of villages. The
north-east and centre of the District are generally inundated during
the rainy season, only the river banks and the artificial mounds on
which habitations are situated rising above the water. These elevated
embankments are, where not occupied by gardens, densely covered
with a scrubby jungle or semi-spontaneous species, from which rise
bamboos, betel-nut and coco-nut palms, with a few taller trees, the
commonest being the Odina IVodier, and the most conspicuous the red
cotton-tree (Bwnbax malabaricutri). The surface of the marshes shows


either huge stretches of inundated rice or is covered with matted
floating islets of sedges and grasses and various water-lilies, the most
striking of these being the makana (Euryale ferox). The forests ol
the Sundarbans in the south produce many kinds of timber and an
abundant supply of firewood.

The same forests also abound in tigers, leopards, wild buffaloes, hog,
swamp deer, spotted deer, hog deer, barking-deer, porcupines, otters,
and monkeys. Tigers are very numerous, and their ravages often
interfere with the extension of cultivation. Crocodiles are common in
the MadhumatI and Bhairab and in all the rivers in the Sundarbans.
Snakes of various kinds infest the whole District.

Statistics of temperature are not available. Rainfall commences
early, and the annual fall averages 65 inches, of which 6-5 inches fall
in May, 12-6 in June, 12-8 in July, n-S in August, 8-8 in September,
and 4-9 in October. Serious floods occurred in 1885, 1890, and 1900,
but they are less now than they were before the MadhumatI had
opened out its present channel and the other rivers had silted up at
their heads. A cyclone accompanied by a storm-wave occurred in
the Bagherhat subdivision in 1895.

In ancient times the District formed part of the old kingdom of Banga
or Samatata, and subsequently of the Bagri division of Bengal con-
stituted by Baikal Sen. The earliest traditions are, _,. 4

• 1 r vl- • Ai- History,

however, associated with the name of Knanja All,

who came to the District four and a half centuries ago. He obtained
a jagir from the king of Gaur and made extensive clearances in the
Sundarbans, where he appears to have exercised all the rights of sove-
reignty till his death in 1459. He covered the country with numerous
mosques and tombs, the remains of some of which are still to be seen at
Bagherhat and Masjidkur. Vikramaditya, one of the chief ministers
of Daud Khan, the last king of Bengal, obtained a grant in the Sun-
darbans when that monarch rebelled against the king of Delhi, and
established at IswarIpur a city from which the District of Jessore took
its name. He was succeeded by his son Pratapaditya, the popular hero
of the Sundarbans, who gained pre-eminence over the twelve chiefs
or Bhuiyas then holding possession of Southern Bengal, but was eventu-
ally defeated and captured by Man Singh, Akbar's Hindu general.
The present District of Khulna was formed in 1882 out of the Khulna
and Bagherhat subdivisions of Jessore and the Satkhira subdivision of
the Twenty-four Parganas, and its history after the British accession
to the dlwani is comprised in the accounts of those Districts.

The population has grown rapidly since 1872, the figures being
1,046,878 in 1872, 1,079,948 in 1881, 1,177,652 in Population
1891, and 1,253,043 in 1901. The increase is due to
a large expansion of cultivation in the south, central, and south-west



portions of the District, and a steady but less rapid growth in the
marshy country to the north-east, on the confines of Farldpur. There
lias been a decrease of population in the north-western corner, and also
in a narrow strip of country running from it first in a southerly and
then in a south-easterly direction ; in this tract fever is very prevalent.
In the northern part of the Satkhira subdivision the drainage is bad,
there are numerous swamps, and malaria is always present. The other
northern thanas are also low-lying, but though there are numerous
marshes, the country is more open ; and there is less jungle, while the
stagnant pools and tanks which are so common in North Satkhira are
rarely to be seen. Dyspepsia, diarrhoea, and dysentery are common
when the river water becomes brackish, and cholera sometimes breaks
out in an epidemic form. The chief statistics of the Census of 1901
are given below : —




°" ' K




Number of






'■5 1)

Khulna .
Satkhira .

District total










+ 177
+ 6-6
- i-5

2 4,6l5
3°,49 x






+ 6-4


* These figures exclude 2,688 square railies in the Sundaibans. If this area be
included, the density for the whole District is 263 persons per square mile.

The three towns are Khulna, the head-quarters, Debhata, and
Satkhira. There is a large immigration from the Districts of Backer-
gunge, Jessore, and Farldpur, which supply many of the cultivators
on new clearances in the Sundarbans ; some of these have settled
permanently, but many are still domiciled elsewhere. The dialects
spoken are Eastern Bengali, or, and East Central Bengali.
Hindus (619,123) and Muhammadans (632,216) are almost equally

The great majority of the Muhammadans are Shaikhs (292,000) and
Ajlafs (285,000), while of the remainder the weaving caste of Jolahas
(27,000) is the most largely represented. Probably most of these are
descended from local converts from Hinduism, and chiefly from the
Chandals (Namasudras) and Pods, who still number 191,000 and
105,000 respectively. Of other castes, Kayasths (39,000), Kaibarttas
(36,000), and Brahmans (31,000) are the most numerous. Agriculture
supports 77 per cent, of the population, industries 11-7 per cent., and
the professions i-8 per cent.

Christians in 1901 numbered 1,275, including 1,228 native Christians,


the most important mission at work being the Baptist Missionary
Society, which has 18 churches and 24 schools, mostly among the
cultivating classes in the Sundarbans. The Oxford Mission has
a station at Shelaburia on the Pusur, about 30 miles south of Khulna ;
and some Roman Catholics at Malgachi, also in the Sundarbans, are
visited occasionally by their priests.

The clay land of the river plain (mathial) is most suitable for rice,
while cold-season crops, such as pulses, oilseeds, and the betel-vine

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