Kurumba

This group of Jenu Kurubas was a self sustained group living in the forest by honey collection, foraging, hunting and sporadic shifting cultivation around their forest settlements. They have been expelled from the reserve forest and resettled in governement rehabilitation settlements. They are now in a state of economic transformation, engaged in cultivation and agricultural or other wage labour. Different policies and programmes are designed to improve the social, political and economic state of the Jenu Kuruba in the settlements providing education to tribal children, public distribution system, decentralization of political administration, occupation training, etc. However, as in most of...
The Mullu Kurumbas live in a few places in the forest areas of the Wayanad district of Kerala. They are well known for their hunting and bird catching traditions, but hunting is now prohibited. They predominantly practice agriculture in the Vayals of the Wayanad. Today, many of them are well educated and have jobs involving them in the modern economy. Compared to the other Kurumba groups, the Mullu Kurumba have shifted to a greater extent to the regional mainstream culture and language (Malayalam).
This project documents the language and culture of Kurumba peoples living in the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu and adjacent forest areas in Kerala and Karnataka states in India. In that vast area which was till the 19th century a kind natural biosphere reserve, many small groups of hunther-gatherers were freely moving. Many of them fall into the 'Kurumba' ethnographic set, their names varying according to their localisation. Intrusive modernisation and administrative reorganisaton have fragmented their space and disrupted their traditional mode of life. A few 'Kurumba' groups, with distinct adaptative trajectories, are the focus of this project: Alu Kurumbas and Jenu...