A language of India

Alternate Names
Kamaoni, Kumau, Kumauni, Kumawani, Kumgoni, Kumman, Kunayaoni

2,360,000 (1998 survey). 472,000 monolinguals (1998 SIL).


Uttarakhand, Almora, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Champawat, and Udhamsingh Nagar districts; Central Kumaoni dialect is in Almora and north Nainital; Northeastern Kumaoni in Pithoragarh; Southeastern Kumaoni in southeast Nainital; Western Kumaoni is west of Almora and Nainital.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Central Kumaoni, Northeastern Kumaoni, Southeastern Kumaoni, Western Kumaoni. Reportedly, eastern dialects are different. Names sometimes listed for dialects or subgroups are: Askoti, Bhabari of Rampur, Chaugarkhiya, Danpuriya, Gangola, Johari, Khasparjiya, Kumaiya Pachhai, Pashchimi, Phaldakotiya, Kumaoni, Rau-Chaubhaisi, Sirali, Soriyali. Most closely related to Garwhali [gbm] and Nepali [npi].

Language Use

Home, community. All ages. Positive attitudes. Central dialect is most accepted. Hindi [hin] used in towns and markets, mostly by men but also by a few educated women and school-aged children. Used as L2 by Byangsi [bee], Chaudangsi [cdn], Darmiya [drd], Gujari [gju], Rawat [jnl], Rongpo [rnp].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 72% for Uttarakhand (2001 census). Motivation for literacy not high. Poetry. Magazines. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1825–2007.

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Hindu, traditional religion.