Khond(redirected from Khonds)
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(also Kandh, Kui), a tribe of people living mainly in the forested mountainous regions of the state of Orissa in India. Numbering more than 700, 000 persons (1970 estimate), the Khond speak the Kui language, which belongs to the Dravidian family. Many of the Khond are either bilingual or speak only the Oriya language. Their religion is interwoven with traditional tribal beliefs and Hinduism. The Khond are subdivided into the plains Khond, who are highly assimilated with the neighboring Oriya and engage in plow farming (they are also divided into castes), and the hill Khond, who have preserved considerable vestiges of the tribal system. The chief occupations of the latter are slash-and-burn farming, hunting, and gathering.