History of Koravars in Tamilnadu

P.Joesvin Angel Hepsy


Tamil Nadu is part of South India, with an ancient civilisation. It located in the extreme south-eastern part of the Indian peninsula. Tamil Nadu regarded as the birthplace of Dravidian languages and culture. The Tamil language is supposed to be the mother of all Dravidian languages. Kuravar is a community of non-pastoral hunter-gatherers who lead a life of nomadic gipsies. Kuravar is the hunter, gatherer tribe that is native to the mountainscape of Tamil region. They were driven out of forests and underwent atrocities such as Criminal Tribes Act. Even now they live as nomads, selling handmade jewellery.Kuravars belong to the nomadic tribe commonly known as Gypsies. It is hard to disregard them as they seem decorated with colourful beads, carrying trays filled with small essentials like hairpins, clips, bands and bangles that firmly catch the eye of any woman even during the rush hours in a local train in Tamil Nadu. The Kuravars belong to one of the indigenous tribes who hail from the Kuranji Hills.So, this research is intended to explore thehistorical background of Koravars in Tamilnadu and customs, culture and rituals of Kuravar society to


reveal the social and economic condition of the Narikoravar Community. This paper attempts to offer suggestions in this regard.The Koravars make mats, snow, sieves, cradles, and baskets of all kinds and sizes. The woman of the Koracha caste does tattooing. Tattooing was a standard feature of the people of Tamil Nadu as it was with any other ancient tribes.They eat squirrels, tortoise, rabbits, porcupines, bat, mangoose, udumbu, wild pig, sheep, goat, pig, and fish of all kinds. Vegetables like brinjal, lady’s finger, cucumber, tomato, ehavalikai, harave, onion, green chillies as well as seasonally available roots and tubers used. What the researcher concludes from the study is that the kuravar people’s cultures and tradition changed, but their way of dress, talk, occupation shows they are a nomad. Certain social evils and superstitions in the name of religion are also continuing in one form or the other suffocating the progress of tribes. The government of India is determined to help the kuravar people to grow according to their genius and tradition. The following areas recommended for further research: Studies on tribes and kuravar in the nearby areas and social welfare programmes to kuravar development, etc., could be taken up.

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