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  • District: Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam

  • Taluk: (Information not provided)

  • Villages: Vithura, Peringammala, Tholikkod, Pangode, Amboori, and Kulathupuzha Grama Panchayats


  • The Kanikkaran, also known as Kanikar, are primarily distributed in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam Districts, with some communities residing in the adjoining regions of Tamil Nadu.

  • The name "Kanikkar" is believed to have been given to them by the Sage Agastya, signifying 'hereditary proprietors of the land,' with 'Kani' meaning land and 'Karan' meaning owner.

  • Their spoken language displays linguistic features of both Malayalam and Tamil.

Allegiance and Traditions:

  • The Kanikkar community historically demonstrated allegiance to the Travancore Kingdom, presenting hill produce annually and receiving gifts from the Raja in return.

Social Structure:

  • The 'Kanipat' or 'Kanikudi' serves as the fundamental unit of their social, economic, political, and religious organization.

  • Each 'Kanipat' is led by a 'Muttukani' who wields significant authority.

  • The 'Vilikani' or Convener assists the headman, while in some areas, the headman is known as 'Muthalpat.'The 'Plathy,' next in hierarchy, holds the role of a magician cum medicine man.

Livelihood and Agricultural Practices:

  • In the past, the Kanikkar community relied on hunting, minor forest produce collection, and cultivation for sustenance.

  • Today, they predominantly engage in settled agriculture, cultivating crops like rice, tapioca, arecanut, pepper, ginger, turmeric, and cashew as major cash crops.

  • The 'Agasthyakoodam' peak, home to the Kanikkar, boasts a wealth of medicinal herbs, showcasing their exceptional traditional knowledge of herbal remedies for various ailments.

  • While some Kanikkaran communities living in plain areas have experienced improved lifestyles, those in the interior forests, known as 'Malamkanis,' still lack access to basic amenities of life.

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