It is believed the Konds originally came from the richer coastal plains of eastern India before being driven away during the Aryan advance. Three separate groups of Konds emerged from history: the subjugated Bettiah Konds, who inhabit the plains below the Ghats; the Benniah Konds, who inhabit the foothills and lower slopes of the Ghats; and the Maliah Konds or Hill Konds, constituting the majority of the Kond population, who are situated on the central tableland of the Ghats. The Hill Konds have never been under foreign domination, and for centuries they raided Oriya villages in the plains. Until the early nineteenth century they practiced human sacrifice as a religious rite in order to avoid natural calamities. Their neighbors the Pans have always been indispensable to the Konds in their capacity as traders, moneylenders, musicians, and intermediaries in all transactions between Hindus and Konds. Certain aspects of funerals that are taboo to the Konds themselves are handled by the Pans.