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This ethnographic profile provides insights into the cultural practices, historical background, and social structure of the Kurumbas (also known as Kurumbar and Kurumban) community residing in Palakkad District, Kerala. They are the earliest inhabitants of the Attappady area and are distinguished as "Palu Kurumba" from the "Alu Kurumba" community of the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu.

 Geographic Distribution

The Kurumba community is primarily distributed in the Attappady Block Panchayat of Palakkad District. They inhabit villages in Agali and Pudur Grama Panchayats.

Demographic Details

As per the 2001 census, the sex ratio among the Kurumbas is 1000 females to 996 males, indicating a near-balanced gender distribution.

Language and Social Organization

The Kurumbas speak a language that is a mix of Tamil and Malayalam. Their traditional social organization is similar to that of the Mudugar and Irular communities residing in the same area. They maintain a community life by sharing land and labor.

Historical Livelihoods

Historically, Kurumbas were hunters, gatherers, and shifting cultivators in the Attappady Valley. They are adept at shifting cultivation, locally known as "Panja Krishi," where they cultivate crops like Ragi, Thuvara, and Chama. Additionally, they have expertise in cattle rearing and collecting non-timber forest produce.

Education and Development

Among the five Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) of Kerala, the younger generation of the Kurumba community has shown more interest in organizing themselves and pursuing education. This progress highlights their efforts towards community development and empowerment.

In conclusion, this ethnographic profile sheds light on the rich cultural heritage, livelihood practices, and educational aspirations of the Kurumbas (Kurumbar, Kurumban) community in Palakkad District, Kerala. As the earliest inhabitants of the Attappady area, their traditional knowledge of shifting cultivation and expertise in cattle rearing remain significant aspects of their identity. The community's commitment to education and self-organization indicates their determination to progress and preserve their unique cultural heritage in the face of modern challenges.

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