The Kolhati are an Indian nomadic community that form a subgroup of the Banjara people.[1] They belong to central India and Maharashtra. They traditionally are professional entertainers and acrobats. They are classified as a nomadic tribe by the government of Maharashtra.[2] They have also been employed with tamasha troupes.[3][4] The kolhati language is spoken in considerable numbers in Pune district. Kolhati lavani-tamasha performers have got social prestige from the patronage of the art form by the Maharashtra state government,[5] and is vital to their identity as performing artists according to Morcom.[6]


  1. ^ Satya, Laxman D. (1997). "Colonial Sedentarization and Subjugation: The Case of Banjaras of Berar, 1850-1900". The Journal of Peasant Studies. 24 (4): 317–318. doi:10.1080/03066159708438653.
  2. ^ Phillips, David J. (2001-01-01). Peoples on the Move: Introducing the Nomads of the World. William Carey Library. ISBN 9780878083527.
  3. ^ Ratnam, Dhamini (2016-11-29). "Know your Lavani". Livemint. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  4. ^ "Tune into the world of traditional Lavani". mid-day. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  5. ^ Kakodkar, Priyanka. "Dancing on the fringes: the shadowy world of courtesans". The Hindu. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  6. ^ Morcom, Anna (2014-02-07). Courtesans, Bar Girls & Dancing Boys: The Illicit Worlds of Indian Dance. Hachette India. ISBN 9789350097939.