Zimmer has argued, in referring to Yaksa, that they were a non-Aryan people. According to Weber, they were a Vedic people, but were sometimes in conflict with other Vedic people.
References in Mahabharata
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The names Kitava and Kitika closely resemble Kikata, and were found in Mahabharata.
The Ajas, the Prishnis, the Sikatas, the Arunas, and the Kitavas, have all gone to heaven through the merit of Vedic study (12:26).
The Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, and the Vasatis, the Swalyas, the Matsyas, the Amvashtas, the Trigartas, and the Kekayas, the Sauviras, the Kitavas, and the dwellers of the Eastern, Western, and the Northern countries,--these twelve brave races were resolved to fight reckless of the lives for Bhishma(6:18). The Sauviras, the Kitavas, the Easterners, the Westerners, the Northerners, the Malavas, the Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, and the Vasatis were mentioned as taking part in Kurukshetra War siding with the Kauravas (6:107). The Sauviras, the Kitavas, the Easterners, the Westerners, the Northerners, the Malavas, the Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, the Vasatis, the Salwas, the Sayas, the Trigartas, the Amvashthas, and the Kaikeyas were again mentioned on the Kaurava side at (6:120).
The tribes Vairamas, Paradas, Tungas, with the Kitavas who lived upon crops that depended on water from the sky or of the river and also they who were born in regions on the sea-shore, in woodlands, or countries on the other side of the ocean waited at the gate, being refused permission to enter, with goats and kine and asses and camels and vegetable, honey and blankets and jewels and gems of various kinds. -- bringing tribute to Pandava king Yudhishthira (2:50).
Madraka, and Karnaveshta, Siddhartha, and also Kitaka; Suvira, and Suvahu, and Mahavira, and also Valhika, Kratha, Vichitra, Suratha, and the handsome king Nila were mentioned as kings at (1:67).
- e.g. McDonell and Keith 1912, Vedic Index; Rahurkar, V.G. 1964. The Seers of the Rgveda. University of Poona. Poona; Talageri, Shrikant. (2000) The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis
- R. C. Majumdar and A. D. Pusalker (editors): The History and Culture of the Indian People. Volume I, The Vedic age. Bombay : Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan 1951, p. 252