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  • District: Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad

  • Taluk: (Information not provided)

  • Villages: Thirunelli, Noolpuzha, Poothadi, Mullamkolly, and Pulpally Grama Panchayats

Demographic Details:

  • Population (KILA Survey 2008): 17,051

  • Literacy (KILA Survey 2008): 60.15%


  • Kattunayakans are distributed across the districts of Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, and Palakkad, with a significant concentration in Wayanad.

  • The term "Kattunayakan" is derived from the words 'Kattu' (forest) and 'Nayakan' or 'naickan' (lord), which translates to "lord of forests."

  • They are also known as Jenu Kurumban and Ten Kurumban within tribal communities.

  • Their language shares similarities with Kannada, and they can converse with outsiders in Malayalam.

Traditional Lifestyle and Occupations:

  • Historically, Kattunayakans have been forest dwellers, and their social life and economy revolve around the forest.

  • They were skilled in various forest-based activities, such as serving as mahouts and capturing elephants.

  • Among tribal communities, they are renowned as excellent honey collectors, utilizing various techniques.

  • Traditionally, they were hunters, food gatherers, and practiced sporadic shifting cultivation near their settlements.

  • Even today, they rely on non-timber forest produce collection for sustenance.

Social Organization:

  • The headman, known as 'Muthan' or 'Muthali,' also acts as the priest within the community.

Education and Development:

  • The Kattunayakan community has shown positive responses to quality education, indicating their eagerness for progress.

  • The implementation of development programs may further enhance their quality of life.


  • Kattunayakan is the community with the largest population among Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) in Kerala, highlighting its unique cultural significance and challenges.

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