The Irulas and Kurumbas linked hands at Thoppaiyur, a small tribal hamlet in a remote part of the Blue Mountains near Sholurmattam to celebrate Thottatam a unique week long tribal festival which concluded on Saturday.

Known for their flair for music and dance, dexterity in handling a variety of musical instruments, the festival concluded with participants performing dance dramas and was followed by offering of traditional food items made of ragi,samai,wheat to the departed at the common burial ground . The members also partook in the community feast that followed.

Late in the night there were dances and a drama in which a folklore was highlighted. Explaining their significance, Chandran President of the Adhinilam Forum,told The Hindu that they depicted the killing of a tiger in the days of the Raj by a group comprising among others Britishers,forest officials and villagers.

The tiger had earlier killed a buffalo which after grazing in a meadow was being brought back to the village by an old couple.

Stating that the festival was since yore an annual feature of the village,he said that it had not been celebrated for a few decades owing to a land dispute.

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