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Kunbi is also known as Kanbi, are non-elite tillers spread across western India. There are various communities under Kunbi, namely, Dhonoje, Ghatole, Hindre, Jadav, Jhare, Khaire, Lewa (Leva Patil), Lonare and Tirole communities. This community can be found largely in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Goa. In Maharashtra, they fall under OBC (Other Backward Classes).


The term Kunbi is derived from "kun" means "people" and "bi", means "seed". Another theory states that this term is derived from Marathi word "kunbawa" means "agricultural tillage."


Initially, all the Marathi speaking people were referred as Maratha. Later, on the people employed under martial connotation came to be known as Marathas. Others who were not associated with this term Maratha, and who were also not untouchables came to be known as Kunbi.

Later on, due to inter-caste marriage and various other ways, Kunbis started identifying themselves as Marathas. Gradually, a new caste Maratha-Kunbi was born in 1990 and they became political elite in Maharashtra. However, this new group did not gain recognition by the Maharashtra government.


In Gujarat, the government provides many development programs to the Kunbi. However, the girl"s dropout in education is very high due to economic reasons.


Most of the people in this community follow non-vegetarian diet. Their staple diet is rice, and staple cereals are wheat, bajra, jowar and ragi and other cereals.

Religion and festivals:

Kunbi follow Hinduism and worship many deities. Their main festivals are Akshade, Dassehra and Ugadi.


Cross-cousin marriages are allowed in Kunbi. However, widow remarriage is not allowed. They require a Brahmin priest to conduct marriage ceremony.

Marriages are arranged by the elders of the family.


There are occurrences of honor killing, casteism in Kunbi community.

Farmer suicide:

It is observed that majority of farmer suicide cases are of Kunbi-Maratha community.