Regions with significant populations
Upper Assam
Related ethnic groups
Bodos, Tiwas , Karbis, Hajongs, Ahoms, Chudias

Koch is a social group in the Indian state of Assam. The members of the caste are converts from different ethnic groups such as the Bodos, Garos, Tiwas, Karbis, Ahoms, Hajongs, Chutias etc.[1][2] The Koch is one of many categories in the tribe-caste continuum in Assamese society.[3] In some instance, the identity of the Koch overlaps the identity of the Kachari.[4] Any member of the any ethnic group can become a Koch by employing a Brahmin and giving up habits such as the consumption of liquor, pork, beef etc. and giving up their original mother tongue which are considered to be impure in Hinduism. The caste is mostly found to be concentrated in Upper Assam section of the Brahmaputra Valley.[5]

See also


  1. ^ (Ramirez 2014:17):"In Upper Assam, “Koch” only applies to groups reputed to have converted to Assamese Hinduism and which no longer recognize themselves as Tiwa, Karbi or Bodo."
  2. ^ "In Assam proper, however, the term 'Koch' implies the name of a caste (rather a Hinduised tribe) "into which all converts from different tribes, Kachari, Garo, Hajong, Lalung, Mikir etc. are admitted on conversion"(Nath 1989:7)
  3. ^ Sharma 2009, p. 358.
  4. ^ (Ramirez 2014:17):"The Koch category does not, however, encompass all the intermediary statuses between caste and tribe. For instance, in the same region of Upper Assam, the Koch category conceptually overlaps the Kachari, the second term being more common on the northern bank and the far east"
  5. ^ Ramirez 2014, p. 17.


Printed sources

  • Ramirez, Philippe (2014). People of the Margins - Across Ethnic Boundaries in North-East India.
  • Nath, D. (1989), History of the Koch Kingdom, C. 1515-1615, Mittal Publications, ISBN 8170991099
  • Sharma, Chandan Kumar (2009). "Tribe Caste Continuum and the Formation of Assamese Identity". In Medhi, B.K (ed.). Tribes of North-East India: Issues and Challenges. Delhi: Omsons Publications. pp. 354–366.