Pulayar community – Kerala, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu

The Pulayar, also Pulaya, or Pulayas or Holeya or Cheramar, are one of the main social groups found in Kerala, Karnataka and in historical Tamil Nadu or Tamilakam

Traditions

Their marriage rituals were described by Edgar Thurston. Nowadays many of these customs have fallen into disuse. Traditionally women of this caste are more independent compared to the women of other caste. The spiritual life of the Pulaya includes certain ancient magic rituals and practices that have a certain reputation. Members of the mainstream community may consult Pulaya sorcerers (Manthrikavadi) in Kerala, for advice.

Pulayas are noted for their music, craftsmanship, and for certain dances which include Kōlam-thullal, a mask dance which is part of their exorcism rituals, as well as the Mudi-āttam or hair-dance which has its origins in a fertility ritual. […]

Source: Pulayar – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Address : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulayar
Date Visited: Tue Oct 30 2012 17:56:54 GMT+0100 (CET)

Learn more about the Pulayar community >>

“Tribal men and women mix freely, but with respect for each other [but] caste Hindu society in India is so convinced of its own superiority that it never stops to consider the nature of social organisation among tribal people. In fact it is one of the signs of the ‘educated’ barbarian of today that he cannot appreciate the qualities of people in any way different from himself – in looks or clothes, customs or rituals.” – Guest Column in India Today >>

“Casteism is the investment in keeping the hierarchy as it is in order to maintain your own ranking, advantage, privilege, or to elevate yourself above others or keep others beneath you …. For this reason, many people—including those we might see as good and kind people—could be casteist, meaning invested in keeping the hierarchy as it is or content to do nothing to change it, but not racist in the classical sense, not active and openly hateful of this or that group.” | Learn more about India’s caste system and the effects of “casteism” on tribal communities >>

“Tribal languages are a treasure trove of knowledge about a region’s flora, fauna and medicinal plants. Usually, this information is passed from generation to generation. However, when a language declines, that knowledge system is completely gone.” – Ayesha Kidwai (Centre for Linguistics, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) quoted by Abhijit Mohanty in “Seven decades after independence, many tribal languages in India face extinction threat” | Learn more about the work done by the People’s Linguistic Survey of India and endangered languages worldwide >>

“The notion of ‘mainstreaming’ needs to be challenged not just because Adivasi culture is being crushed, but also because Adivasi values and ways of life offer insights that the ‘mainstream’ needs. If we are to halt the destruction of ecosystems, we need to understand how closely biodiversity and cultural diversity are intertwined. Perhaps it is time to reverse the gaze and begin to learn afresh from Adivasis.” – Felix Padel & Malvika Gupta (The Hindu) | Learn more about the role of tribal communities in fostering biodiversity, ethnobotany and cultural diversity | Success stories | Tribal identity >>

“I think that by retaining one’s childhood love of such things as trees, fishes, butterflies and … toads, one makes a peaceful and decent future a little more probable, and that by preaching the doctrine that nothing is to be admired except steel and concrete, one merely makes it a little surer that human beings will have no outlet for their surplus energy except in hatred and leader worship.” – George Orwell | Learn more: Childhood | Customs | Games and leisure time | Literature – fiction | Storytelling >>

“The theoretical debate on caste among social scientists has receded into the background in recent years. [C]aste is in no sense disappearing: indeed, the present wave of neo-liberal policies in India, with privatisation of enterprises and education, has strengthened the importance of caste ties, as selection to posts and educational institutions is less based on merit through examinations, and increasingly on social contact as also on corruption.” – Harald Tambs-Lyche (Professor Emeritus, Université de Picardie, Amiens) in “Caste: History and the Present” (Academia Letters) | Learn more: Accountability | Democracy | Education and literacy >>

See also

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Secretary, Tribal Cultural Heritage in India Foundation (2010-2022)
This entry was posted in Assimilation, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Names and communities, Performing arts, Quotes, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Western Ghats – Tribal heritage and ecology, Worship and rituals and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.