Kani customs: Continuity and change in the hills near Kanyakumari – Tamil Nadu

Photos and information: courtesy S S Davidson © 2013 Tribal Foundation (Nagercoil)

To reach the Kani settlements requires travelling by boat followed by long treks through the forest. The dam has become the main hub of life.

Traditionally they live in air-cooled bamboo huts. Since forest legislation includes a ban on bamboo harvesting, many live in concrete houses today.

The Kani have profound knowledge of ethno-botany. They use tubers as medicines. Jack fruit is available in plenty in the hills. Eaten raw as a fruit or baked, it is a main component in their food culture.

One of the photos shows how tribal priests conduct a ritual in accordance with their belief that offerings and magic appease the spirits. In this customary manner, they also seek to avoid diseases. Here the ritual is performed for the purpose of documentation.

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Davidson Sargunam
Environmental Educationist
M: 09994138550
email: ssdavidson9@gmail.com

Tribal Foundation
23, Cave Street, Duthie School Road
Nagercoil – 629 001
Tamil Nadu
Reg. No: 1116/2009

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