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The Malavettuvan community, recently recognized as a Scheduled Tribe in Kerala, is primarily found in the Ghat areas of Kasaragod and Kannur districts. They reside in villages such as Kuttikol, Balal, Kallar, Kodombelur, East Eleri, West Eleri, and Kinanoor Karinthalam in Kasaragod district.

Language and Traditional Leadership:

The Malavettuvan community speaks a dialect of Malayalam and Tulu. In the past, they had a traditional headman called 'Kiran,' who was appointed by their respective landlords. The Kiran would take orders from the landlords and supply manual workers to them. However, the role of the Kiran has diminished over time, and each settlement now has a leader commonly known as the 'Moopan.'

Livelihood and Expertise:

Traditionally, Malavettuvans were skilled in 'Punamkothu,' a traditional occupation. However, their main source of livelihood has shifted, and today they primarily subsist on agricultural labor. They engage in various agricultural activities to sustain themselves and their families.

Socio-Economic Situation:

The Malavettuvan community and their living areas face socio-economic challenges. They are classified as Other Eligible Community (OEC) until the Amendment (Act 10 of 2003), which indicates that they were recognized as a Scheduled Tribe after this amendment. Despite their recognition, they still lag behind socially, economically, and educationally.

Development Initiatives:

However, the community is organized and ready to respond to development initiatives. With the proper support and targeted development programs, they have the potential to uplift their living conditions and improve their overall well-being.


The Malavettuvan community, though facing challenges, remains resilient and determined to progress. With their recognition as a Scheduled Tribe, they are eligible for various government welfare schemes and initiatives aimed at tribal development. By providing them with support in education, livelihood opportunities, and social empowerment, the Malavettuvan community can thrive and contribute to the diverse cultural landscape of Kerala.

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