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Hill Pulaya


  • District: Idukki

  • Taluk: Devikulam

  • Villages: Kanthallur, Marayur gram panchayaths


  • The Hill Pulaya community is divided into three endogamous sects: Kurumba Pulayan, Karavazhi Pulayan, and Pamba Pulayan.

  • Kurumba Pulayans reside exclusively in the 'Anchunad' region of Devikulam Taluk in Idukki District. They trace their roots as early immigrants from Tamil Nadu and hold a sense of social superiority over the other two sects.

  • The settlements of these sects are distinct, with Kurumba Pulayans found in forest areas, Karavazhi Pulayans in the plain areas of Marayur and Kanthallur Grama Panchayats, and Pamba Pulayans in the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary area.

Language and Leadership:

  • The Hill Pulaya communities primarily speak a dialect of Tamil with some Malayalam influences.

  • The Kurumba Pulayan community is led by a headman known as 'Arasan,' while the headman of Karavazhi Pulayan is 'Kudumban,' supported by assistants and executives known as 'Varijan' and 'Kolkkaran,' respectively.

Historical Lifestyle:

  • Historically, the Kurumba Pulayans were food gatherers, hunters, and practiced slash-and-burn cultivation. They are skilled in cultivating lemon grass and extracting oil, as well as expert sheep rearers.

  • Conversely, the Karavazhi Pulayans were agricultural serfs under Caste Hindus, and currently, both major sections are engaged in casual labor.

Folk Traditions:

  • Karavazhi Pulayans have various vibrant forms of folk dances, and they believe that dancing pleases the gods and brings blessings. They have showcased their folk songs and dances in national forums.

Hill Pulaya
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