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International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences
ILSHS Volume 62

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Son Kolis – The Aboriginal Inhabitants of Bombay (Now Mumbai) in Transition

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Son Koli, Macchimar Koli, Christian Koli, Vaiti Koli and Mangela Koli are fishermen by profession. Their main occupation is fishing. They are found along the North Konkan coast from Vasai, near Mumbai city to Ratnagiri district in south of Maharashtra.Generations of these Kolis have been in the fishing occupation as their sole profession for survival. In spite of being settled in and around Mumbai city, which prides in calling itself the first metropolitan city of India, the Koli community has still retained the core of their traditional culture. They still distinguish themselves from the rest of the population in their customs and habits, and their social and religious life. This is largely due to their collective dependency on their only profession of fishing.During the last two decades there has been rapid commercialization of fishing and related business activities like procurement, supply chain, and vending of the fishery products. Commercial fishing involving large corporations having license and territory demarcation use mechanized fishing using trawlers for catch. Also the profession has been infiltrated by other communities who had so far never been in this traditional profession. All these and many other socio-economic factors which have emerged lately have resulted in several challenges being posed for the Koli community of Bombay.This research paper intends to highlight the past, the present and the future challenges that the Koli community faces at the thresholds of development and globalization.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 62)
S. Hegde, "Son Kolis – The Aboriginal Inhabitants of Bombay (Now Mumbai) in Transition", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 62, pp. 140-146, 2015
Online since:
October 2015

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[1] S. Chhabria, "The Aboriginal Alibi: Governing Dispossession in Colonial Bombay", Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 60, p. 1096, 2018