The Kol tribals in Uttar Pradesh are found mainly in the districts of Mirzapur, Varanasi, Banda and Allahabad. It is the largest tribe found in Uttar Pradesh, and numbered 135,617 according to the 1981 Census of India. They are said to have migrated from central India some five centuries ago. The Kol are further divided into a number of exogamous clans, such as the Rojaboria, Rautia, Thakuria, Monasi, Bhil, Chero and Barawire. They speak the Baghelkhandi dialect. Most Kol are landless, and the forest is their main source of income. They collect firewood and leaves from the forest and sell these at the local markets. The Kol have been granted Scheduled Caste status.
The Hos are closely akin to the Mundas. In 1901 they also inhabited the Chota Nagpur Division and numbered 386,000. Also known as the Laraka (or fighters) Kols, they successfully defended their territory against all comers until they were invaded by the British in the early part of the 19th century. Like the Mundas, they are animists. Both Mundas and Hos speak dialects of the language family known as Munda, Mundari, Kol, or Kolarian. The Ho specifically speak the Ho language.