Category Archives: Western Ghats – Tribal heritage and ecology

A mountainous region biologists describe as “one of only nine hottest hotspots” in the world while seeking support for listing it as Unesco World Heritage Site. – Raviprasad Kamila in “Support Unesco tag to save Western Ghats (The Hindu, 11 August 2012)
https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/article3753612.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=7495

“The Kaani indigenous people live in the South Western Ghats, which is a global Eco-region and are a rich repository of eco-knowledge. […] Researchers are exploring not just the parallels, but the links between the world’s biodiversity and linguistic, cultural diversity, as well as the causes and consequences of diversity loss at all levels. This connection is significant in itself, because it suggests that the diversity of life is made up of diversity in nature, culture, and language.” – Sargunam Davidson in “The indigenous Kaani dialect needs documentation” (by email, 23 January 2018)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=24271

“The land is rich with organic top soil with all kinds of nutrients. As the forests form the tail-end of the Western Ghats, it receives both the Monsoons, South West and North East.” – Sargunam Davidson (by email, 10 June 2019)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=29223

“Once, I was walking with this young tribal girl through the forest and we stumbled upon a tuber. She plucked it, cut the eye of the tuber and buried it in the mud before taking it to be cooked. I asked her why she did so and she replied ‘If I don’t put it back, how will it grow again?’ and that moment made me realise how sensitive tribals are towards environment and nature. For them, putting back what they take is inherent in their culture and lifestyle.” – Mari Marcel Thekaekara (writer and Co-founder of ACCORD-Nilgiris), quoted in The Hindu (27 January 2017)
https://www.thehindu.com/society/A-messenger-from-the-mountains/article17102329.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22373

“UNESCO adds India’s Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve [resting half in Kerala and half in Tamil Nadu along the Western Ghats] to its list of perfect biospheres: Tribal settlements within the reserve rely on the forests and its 14 rivers for their livelihood. Kanikkarans, the area’s indigenous tribe, rely on agriculture, fishing and hunting. They live in huts made of bamboo and are known for medicinal healing through plants. However, while most of them have moved out of forests, there is still a small population that lives around the Agasthyamala region. To promote sustainability, several programs have been setup to reduce the 3000-strong tribal population from using up all the resources, according to the UNESCO. Some of them also take up employment with the government as guides for tourists coming to the sanctuaries.” – Neeti Vijaykumar in “Agasthyamala Part of UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Network” (The Better India, 21 March 2016)
https://www.thebetterindia.com/49714/agasthyamala-unesco-biosphere-reserve-network/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20921

“Earlier the Halakkis resided at the foothills of the Western Ghats and were known to practice a system of agriculture similar to that of the Thodas of the Nilgiris. They also depended on forest produce and were known to hunt. When a ban was imposed on hunting and their traditional system of agriculture they began migrating to the flatlands, seashores and riversides. At present agriculture is still the predominant occupation. […] Despite their contact with the mainstream world both in terms of people and access to television and other media, I saw Halakki women more often than not in traditional attires.” – Vicky Lakshmanan in “The Halakki people of Uttara Kannada district”
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=14801

Tribal voices worth listening to: On culture, land rights, employment, education and indigenous languages – Andaman, Kerala & Odisha

“Unless we affirm our culture and right and language, we won’t live. Our colour is good, our language is good, our art is good, our way of living is good. If we can respect your religion and your practices, why … Continue reading

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Video | Synopsis: “Have you seen the arana?” Documentary by Sunanda Bhat – Kerala

Director: Sunanda Bhat | Producer: Songline FilmsGenre: Documentary | Produced In: 2012 | Story Teller’s Country: India Synopsis: The film interweaves contemporary narratives with an ancient tribal creation myth to explore the effects of a rapidly changing landscape on lives and … Continue reading

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Video | Vayali Folklore Group performance – Kerala

The performance video covers Vayali Folklore Group’s journey for a folk art dance performance. The colour, energy and skill of the young people is on full display. About Vayali Motto: “Culture nourishes itself from nature.Without nature, culture cannot exist;without culture, … Continue reading

Posted in Crafts and visual arts, Eco tourism, Education and literacy, Music and dance, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Tribal elders, Video resources - external, Western Ghats – Tribal heritage and ecology, Women | Comments Off on Video | Vayali Folklore Group performance – Kerala

“Kocharethi calls upon us to ethically engage with it, to question our complicity” – First novel by an Adivasi in Kerala

To read the full book review, click here >> Narayan, Kerala’s first tribal novelist, avoids romanticising his milieu. Kocharethi is about the hidden poetry of marginal lives… The temptation to exoticise cultures that have not been commodified yet must be … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Childhood, Colonial policies, Customs, Education and literacy, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Press snippets, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Tribal elders, Tribal identity, Western Ghats – Tribal heritage and ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on “Kocharethi calls upon us to ethically engage with it, to question our complicity” – First novel by an Adivasi in Kerala

Absence of a dowry-system, divorce by mutual consent, and widow-re-marriage: On the high status of women in Badaga communities (Nilgiri) – Tamil Nadu

The Badagas are a unique community living mainly in the Nilgiris District in Tamil nadu in South India. They are also the single largest community of the Nilgiris. Though classified backward, a significant factor is the high status of their … Continue reading

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