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This overview sheds light on the Mavilan community, found in the districts of Kasaragod and Kannur in Kerala. The Mavilan community's name has several versions regarding its etymology, with some associating it with the use of mango leaves or medicinal herbs.


Geographic Distribution

The Mavilan community is predominantly distributed in various villages across Kasaragod District, including Madikkai, Pullur Periya, Kuttikol, Bedaduka, Balal, Kallar, Kodombelur, Panathady, West Eleri, and Kinanoor-Karinthalam. They are also present in Kannur District.

Language and Social Organization

Mavilans predominantly speak Tulu, and many have a good working knowledge of Malayalam. The headman, previously known as 'Kiran,' now holds the title of 'Taravad karnavar,' responsible for both administrative duties and officiating religious rituals.


In the past, Mavilans excelled in 'Punam Kothu,' a practice that involved converting virgin forests into wetland paddy cultivation. They were skilled in shifting cultivation, collecting medicinal herbs, non-timber forest produce, and bamboo, which provided employment opportunities. Basket making is also prevalent in the community. Presently, the majority of Mavilans engage in agricultural labor, while some have switched to non-agricultural labor.


Empowerment and Development

The Mavilan community was listed under Scheduled Castes until 2002. Over time, their cultural identity and political awareness have grown, leading to the formation of organizations for empowerment. As the community embraces change and planned development, they are poised to adopt innovations to improve their livelihoods.


The Mavilan community, located in Kasaragod and Kannur Districts, is known for its unique cultural heritage and traditional practices. With a history rooted in forest-based activities and agriculture, the community is now adapting to modern changes and seeking empowerment through organized efforts. By supporting their endeavors and planned development initiatives, Kerala can contribute to the well-being and progress of the Mavilan community.

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