Kumauni people

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कुमाऊँनी लोग/कुमय्या मेंश
Regions with significant populations
Kumaoni, Hindi
Related ethnic groups
Other Indo-Aryan peoples, Garhwali people

Kumauni or Kumaoni (Devanagari: कुमाऊँनी) are people from Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India. In colloquial language, people of Kumaon are also referred to as "Pahari". Kumaoni is addressed to person having origin in Kumaon region. The word Kumain is a direct derivative of Kumaoni.[1]

They include all those who speak the Kumaoni language or any of its numerous dialects, living in the Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Pithoragarh, Nainital, Dehradun, Udham Singh Nagar, districts of Uttarakhand, India and Doti, Khaptad.


British Raj[edit]

Almora Bazaar, c1860

The Kumaon Regiment, established at Ranikhet in 1917, still gets its recruits from the Kumaonis of the Kumaon division and the Ahir from the plains.[2]

There were widespread opposition to British rule in various parts of Kumaon. The Kumauni people, especially the Champawat District, rose in rebellion against the British during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 under the leadership of Kalu Singh Mahara.[3]


UNESCO designated Kumaoni as language in the unsafe category which requires consistent conservation efforts.[4]



After harvesting season people mostly relax, rejoice, dance and sing, and thus a festival is generated. At the transition of the sun from one constellation to another Sankranti is observed. Each Sankranti has a fair or festival connected to it somewhere in Kumaon. Fooldeyi, Bikhauti, Harela, Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Uttaraini and Ghughutiya are the most-observed Sankranties throughout the region. Other festivals have the bearings in the moon and thus the dates change frequently in the Gregorian Calendar. Basant Panchami, Shiv Ratri, Holi, Samvatsar Parwa, Ram Navami, Dashra, Batsavitri, Rakshabandhan, Janmastmi, Nandastmi, and Deepawali are some of the auspicious occasions.[5]

Dashain or Vijaydashmi[edit]

Dasshera festival starts in Kumaon with the performance of Ramlila, which is itself unique as it is based on the musical rendering of the katha or story of Lord Ram based on the theatrical traditions set by Uday Shankar while on his stay in Almora. These traditions were further enriched by Mohan Upreti and Brijendra Lal Sah. Known as the Almora or Kumaon style, Ramlila has been recognised by UNESCO as one of the representative styles of Ramlila in India.[6]


Kumaoni theatre, which developed through its 'Ramleela' plays,[7] later evolved into a modern theatre form through the efforts of theatre stalwarts like Mohan Upreti and Dinesh Pandey and groups like 'Parvatiya Kala Kendra' (started by Mohan Upreti) and 'Parvatiya Lok Kala Manch'. Besides this the famous Hindi poet, Sumitranandan Pant also hailed from Kausani, district Bageshwar.


  • Trans World Radio (USA) – 7320 Hz (Shortwave)[8]


Kumaoni food is simple and comprises largely of vegetables and pulses. Vegetables like potato (aaloo), radish (mooli), colocacia leaves (arbi ke patte, papad), pumpkin (kaddoo), spinach (palak) and many others are grown locally by the largely agrarian populace and consumed in various forms.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Subba, Tanka Bahadur (1989). Dynamics of a hill society: in Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas. Mittal Publications. ISBN 9788173041143.
  2. ^ Brief History of the Kumaon Regiment from official site of INDIAN Army
  3. ^ The Tribune, Chandigarh, India – Dehradun Edition. Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved on 2011-09-27.
  4. ^ "UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger". UNESCO. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  5. ^ Uttaranchal Fairs and Festivals of Uttarakhand – Kumbh mela, Uttarayani, Nandadevi Raj Jat Yatra. Euttaranchal.com. Retrieved on 2011-09-27.
  6. ^ Ramlila – the Traditional Performance of the Ramayana UNESCO.
  7. ^ Indian Traditions Theatre at iloveindia.
  8. ^ Shortwave Language lists KUM Kumaoni/Kumauni.