Major tribes in Tamil Nadu Upsc

Major tribes in Tamil Nadu

Tribal people are concentrated mainly in the Nilgiris district. Major Tribes in Tamilnadu are Kodas, Thodas, Irulas, Kurumbas and Badagas, Kattunayakan and Paliyan.

They form larger groups and mainly have pastoral work. The tribal population in Tamil Nadu as per the 2011 census is 7,94,697.

Tamil Nadu has 38 tribes and sub-tribes. These people depend mainly on forest lands and agriculture.

Toda

Tribes in Tamilnadu - Toda

Men from these tribes are occupied in Milking and grazing with buffaloes. Toda’s settlement is known as Munds. These people do not worship any god, and their consciousness is cosmic. Toda live in Nilgiris. The Toda tribe is a small pastoral community that lives on the isolated Nilgiri Plateau of Southern India. They are one of the oldest and most unique tribes in India, with a rich culture and history.

The Toda are traditionally buffalo herders, and their culture revolves around the buffalo. They have a deep understanding of buffalo husbandry and produce a variety of dairy products, including milk, yoghurt, and butter. The Toda also uses buffalo dung as fuel and fertilizer.

The Toda live in small settlements called munds, which are typically located on hill slopes. Their houses are made of bamboo and thatch and have a distinctive half-barrel shape.

The Toda are a matriarchal society, and women play a key role in all aspects of community life. They are responsible for milking the buffaloes, making dairy products, and managing the household finances. Men are responsible for herding the buffaloes and performing religious rituals.

The Toda have a rich oral tradition, and their songs, stories, and poems are an important part of their culture. They also have a unique system of writing, which is based on symbols and geometric patterns.

The Toda are a close-knit community, and they have a strong sense of identity. They are proud of their culture and heritage, and they are committed to preserving their traditional way of life.

The Toda tribe is a valuable part of India’s cultural heritage, and their unique way of life is a reminder of the country’s rich diversity.

Badaga

Badaga Tribe in Tamil Nadu
Badaga Tribe in Tamil Nadu By Dinesh Kumar N – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86775148

They belong backward class and are not classified as Tribal. Badaga was an agricultural community, with dwellers in the higher plateau of Nilgiris district. They also engaged in tea cultivation and potato growing and also have a rich oral tradition of folk tales, songs, and poetry.

They belong to the Shiva Section of the Hindu religion. The Badaga tribe is an ethno-linguistic community living in the Nilgiri district in Tamil Nadu, India. There are over 300 Badaga villages in the district, and the Badagas make up the largest ethnic group in the Nilgiris.

The Badagas have a rich and unique culture. They speak their own language, Badaga, which is a Dravidian language closely related to Kannada. The Badagas also have their own unique customs and traditions, such as their marriage rituals and their festivals.

One of the most important Badaga festivals is the Devva Habba, which is a harvest festival that is celebrated in the month of October. During the Devva Habba, the Badagas thank their gods for a good harvest and pray for a prosperous future.

Badagas Temple in Tamil Nadu

The Badagas are also known for their traditional crafts, such as pottery, weaving, and wood carving. Badaga pottery is particularly famous for its unique designs and colours.

The Badaga tribe are an important part of the Nilgiri Hills ecosystem. They have a deep understanding of the local environment and have developed sustainable agricultural practices that have helped to preserve the region’s natural resources.

The Badagas are friendly and welcoming people, and they are always happy to share their culture and heritage with visitors. If you are ever in the Nilgiri Hills, be sure to visit a Badaga village and experience their unique way of life.

Kota

Kota tribe in Tamil Nadu
Kota tribe in Tamil Nadu By Forbes Watson, John William Kaye – The People of India, Volume 8, published in 1875, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12370705

The Kota tribe is a small indigenous community living in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, India. They are one of the oldest and most unique tribes in India, with a rich culture and history.

The Kota tribe is concentrated in the Tiruchigadi area in the Nilagiri Hills. They are known for Folk dances and are musicians who play at Badaa funerals.

These are engaged in funerals. They are experts in Iron Smiths, Potters, and carpenters. Kota implements elaborate tattoos in order to maintain status in society. The Kotas are traditionally metalworkers, and they are known for their skill in crafting silver jewellery and other metal objects. They also make a variety of pottery, baskets, and other handicrafts.

The Kotas are a matriarchal society, and women play a key role in all aspects of community life. They are responsible for making crafts, managing the household finances, and educating the children. Men are responsible for metalworking and agriculture.

The Kotas have a unique religion that is based on the worship of nature spirits. They believe that the Nilgiri Hills are sacred, and they have a deep respect for the environment.

The Kotas are a close-knit community, and they have a strong sense of identity. They are proud of their culture and heritage, and they are committed to preserving their traditional way of life.

Kurumbas

Kurumba Tribe in Tamil Nadu
Kurumba Tribe in Tamil Nadu By த*உழவன் – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8247767

They are known for Black Magic and witchcraft. From Hunters and Gathering, they change to working in Tea and Coffee Plantations. They are the only caste in the state with a distinctive language known as Kurumbas Language.

The Kurumbas tribe is one of the six ancient tribal groups in Tamil Nadu. They are believed to be the original inhabitants of the Nilgiri Hills, and they have a rich culture and history.

The Kurumbas are traditionally hunter-gatherers, and they have a deep knowledge of the local flora and fauna. They also collect honey and other forest produce. In recent years, many Kurumbas have also taken up agriculture and cattle rearing.

The Kurumbas are a matriarchal society, and women play a key role in all aspects of community life. They are responsible for gathering food, making handicrafts, and managing the household finances. Men are responsible for hunting, agriculture, and cattle rearing.

The Kurumbas have a unique religion that is based on the worship of nature spirits. They believe that the Nilgiri Hills are sacred, and they have a deep respect for the environment.

The Kurumbas are a close-knit community, and they have a strong sense of identity. They are proud of their culture and heritage, and they are committed to preserving their traditional way of life.

Irula

Irula tribe in Tamil Nadu
Irula tribe in Tamil Nadu By Sankar.s – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18462059

They occupy the lower slopes and forests of the Nilgiris Hills. They are the second largest after the Badagas tribe and are similar to Kurumbas in characters. They produce Honey, fruits, herbs, roots, gums, dyes, etc. They also trade with people in the plains.

They are famous for catching snakes and collecting snake venom.

The Irula tribe is a Dravidian ethnic group inhabiting the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. A scheduled tribe, their population in this region is estimated at around 200,000 people. People of Irula ethnicity are called Irula, and speak Irula, which belongs to the Dravidian languages family.

The Irulas are mainly concentrated in northern Tamil Nadu: in a wedge extending from Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts in the west to Ariyalur and Cuddalore districts in the south and Tiruvallur district in the north. Small populations live in Coimbatore and Nilgiris districts and were classified by Thurston as a different population.

The Irulas are traditionally snake catchers and herbal healers. They have a deep knowledge of snakes and their venom, and they are able to catch and handle snakes with great skill. The Irulas also have a vast knowledge of medicinal plants, and they use this knowledge to treat a variety of ailments.

In recent years, the Irulas have also taken up other occupations, such as agriculture, cattle rearing, and handicrafts. However, they continue to practice their traditional snake-catching and herbal healing skills.

Paliyan

Paliyan tribe in Tamil Nadu
Paliyan tribe in Tamil Nadu By Vdakshinamurthy – Self-photographed, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=98732976

The Paliyan, or Palaiyar or Pazhaiyarare are a group of around 9,500 formerly nomadic Dravidian tribals living in the South Western Ghats.

They’re food-gathering communities. It is believed that the Paliyan tribe belongs to Palani Hills. They are distributed in districts of Madurai, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Tirunelveli, and Coimbatore.

Paliyar tribes were once nomadic, and now they are more progressive than modern society.

The Paliyan tribe is a Dravidian tribal group living in the southern Western Ghats montane rainforests in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They are traditionally nomadic hunter-gatherers, honey hunters and foragers. Yams are their major food source.

In the early part of the 20th century, the Paliyans dressed scantily and lived in rock crevices and caves. Most have now transformed into traders of forest products, food cultivators and beekeepers, with some working intermittently as wage labourers, mostly on plantations. They are a Scheduled Tribe.

The Paliyan tribe are a unique and fascinating people with a rich culture and history. They have a deep understanding of the local environment and have developed sustainable practices that have helped to preserve the region’s natural resources.

The Paliyan tribe are also known for their traditional crafts, such as pottery, weaving, and basketry. Their handicrafts are made from natural materials such as bamboo, rattan, and clay.

Conclusion

The Tamil tribes are a valuable part of the Tamil Nadu community, and their unique way of life is a reminder of the country’s rich diversity.

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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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