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  • District: Malappuram

  • Taluk: Nilambur

  • Villages: Muthedam, Vazhikkadavu, Edakkara, Pothukallu (Nilambur Block Panchayat), Amarambalam, Karulai, Kalikavu, and Chokkad (Kalikave Block Panchayat).


  • The Aranadan community is an exclusive ethno-cultural group found in the remote Nilambur forests of Malappuram District.

  • The ethnonym "Aranadan" originates from two indigenous terms: 'Aravam,' signifying "snake," and 'Nadan,' denoting "countrymen." As an autochthonous tribe, they exemplify a diminutive socio-cultural unit within the larger society.

  • Linguistically, they exhibit an intricate linguistic repertoire combining elements from Malayalam, Tamil, and Tulu.

Social Structure:

  • Aranadans exhibit endogamous practices, marked by the existence of hereditary subdivisions termed 'Villa' (clans).

  • Within each habitat, a recognized community elder assumes the role of 'Chemmakkaran,' responsible for conflict resolution and officiating sacral rites accompanying their life cycle.

  • Acting as the ritual specialist, the 'Kalladikaran' fulfills dual responsibilities as a priest and healer, evoking symbolic meaning in their socio-religious sphere.

Historical Lifestyle:

  • Historically, the Aranadan community thrived as primordial dwellers within the Eranad Taluk of Malappuram District.

  • Notable for their exceptional acumen in hunting and foraging, they demonstrated nominal interest in agricultural and pastoral pursuits.

  • Their adeptness in python hunting and extraction of curative oil attests to traditional medical practices aimed at mitigating leprosy.

  • Subsisting on minor forest resources further reflected their intricate adaptation to the ecological context.


  • The Aranadan community confronts existential challenges consequent to deforestation and stringent Forest Laws, which have severely disrupted their erstwhile sustainable livelihood patterns.

  • Their socio-economic status remains marginalized, demanding targeted interventions to address their predicaments.

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