top of page



This overview delves into the Malayan community, a Scheduled Tribe found in the districts of Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Palakkad in Kerala. The Malayan community consists of two sub-divisions: 'Nattu Malayan,' the original inhabitants of the hill areas, and 'Konga Malayan,' who migrated from the forests of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.

Geographic Distribution

The Malayan community is spread across various Grama Panchayats, with Pananchery in Thrissur District having the largest representation. Other villages, such as Vengur (Ernakulam District), Pazhayannur, Puthur, Varandarappilly, and Athirappilly (Thrissur District), as well as Ayiloor and Kizhakkanchery (Palakkad District), also host Malayan settlements.

Language and Social Organization

The Nattu Malayan have their own distinct dialect, while the Konga Malayan speak a mixture of Tamil and Malayalam. Each settlement is headed by an 'Elumoopan' who leads the community, assisted by a 'Kaikaran.'


Traditionally, the Malayan community's primary occupation revolves around forest labor and the collection of non-timber forest produce. They possess expertise in cutting bamboo and reeds from the forests. Additionally, they engage in agriculture; however, the implementation of Forest Laws has impacted their cultivation practices.

Challenges and Forest Rights Act

The Malayan community faces challenges due to the impact of irrigation projects like Peechi and Chimminy on their livelihood. They are striving to reclaim their traditional rights through the fair implementation of the Forest Rights Act of 2006.


The Malayan community, consisting of Nattu Malayan and Konga Malayan, holds a significant position among the Scheduled Tribes of Kerala. With their distinct language, social organization, and livelihood practices centered around forests and agriculture, the community faces challenges due to modern developments. By recognizing their rights under the Forest Rights Act and supporting their sustainable livelihoods, Kerala can contribute to the preservation of the Malayan community's rich cultural heritage and ensure a better future for its members.

bottom of page