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The Vettakkurumar community is exclusively found in Wayanad District, Kerala, and the adjoining areas of Karnataka State. They were officially recognized as a Scheduled Tribe community in 2003. Locally, they are known as 'Urali Kurumans', and prior to 2003, they were categorized under the Scheduled Tribe Uraly community of Idukki District. However, their real identity as Vettakkurumar has been revived and acknowledged.


Vettakkurumars are bilingual, proficient in both Kannada and Malayalam. Within their community, they use their own dialect for communication. Their social organization is led by a headman known as the 'Megalan,' who presides over various social functions, including arranging marriages, negotiations, and agricultural activities.

Historically, Vettakkurumars pursued a wide variety of artisan occupations, showcasing their exceptional skills. They were known for their expertise in making hand-made pottery, and they also excelled in crafting wooden artifacts and carpentry work for constructing their houses. Their versatility earned them the reputation of being 'jacks of all trades.'

Traditionally, Vettakkurumars were primarily forest dwellers, intimately connected to their natural surroundings. Over time, however, their livelihoods have evolved, and they are currently engaged in various occupations.


Once known for their artisanal prowess, Vettakkurumars supplied agricultural instruments and earthenware to the entire district. However, as the socio-economic landscape changed, they adapted to different livelihoods.

According to the available data from the KILA Survey in 2008, the working-age population (15-59 age group) numbered 4058. Out of these individuals, 2355 were engaged in agriculture labor as their primary occupation, while 245 individuals were involved in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) program, which provides rural employment opportunities.

Education and Literacy:

The literacy rate among Vettakkurumars, as per the KILA Survey in 2008, was 67.53%. While education plays an essential role in individual and community development, there were 869 students or individuals not actively participating in work due to various reasons.

In conclusion, the Vettakkurumar community in Wayanad is known for their artistic skills and versatile craftsmanship. Over time, their livelihoods have adapted to changing circumstances, and while agriculture labor has become a significant occupation, they retain their traditional knowledge and cultural practices. Ensuring access to education and socio-economic opportunities can further uplift their community and contribute to their overall development.

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