A language of India

Alternate Names
Bihar Ho, Lanka Kol

1,040,000 (2001 census).


Jharkhand, Singhbhum district, Kolhan, Seraikella, Dhalbhum areas; Odisha, Mayurbhanj, and Koenjhar districts; West Bengal.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Chaibasa-Thakurmunda, Lohara. Most understand Chaibasa and Thakurmunda dialects well; 90%–92% comprehend narrative discourse. Kherwari (Khanwar, Kharar, Kharoali, Kharwari) is group name for Ho, Mundari [unr], Munda [unx], and Santhali [sat], closely related languages, and other smaller languages or dialects. Lexical similarity: 85% between most dialects, except for 3 on Ho area east and south edges.

Language Use

Vigorous. Positive attitudes. Also use Hindi [hin], Oriya [ory], Santhali [sat]. Used as L2 by Birhor [biy].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–50%. Literacy program in progress. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1997.

Devanagari script [Deva], used in Bihar. Oriya script [Orya], used in Odisha. Warang Citi script [Wara], no longer in use.

Other Comments

A Scheduled Tribe. Different from Ho (Hani [hni]) of Myanmar, China, Viet Nam, Laos. Traditional religion, Hindu.