Kanyakumari Collector Rajendra Ratnoo inaugurated ‘Tribal Fest 2011,' a two-day celebration aimed at creating an awareness of the traditions and culture of tribal people in the district, at Pechipparai on Saturday.

The Collector said that the festival would facilitate tribal people to know the various welfare and developmental programmes of the government meant exclusively for them.

The district administration and the Department of Tourism conducted a trekking competition from Pechipparai to Thachamalai, and contests such as arrow game (stone), uriyadi (striking a hanging pot), javelin throw, kalari, a martial art, theppam race in Pechipparai dam waters, tug-of-war for men and women, bow and arrow, and onapanthattam.

Traditional tribal programmes of the Thodas and Badugas such as ‘Kaniyan koothu,' ‘Vizakku kettu attam,' ‘Kolattam,' ‘Kalari' fight, ‘Oomakkali,' tribal folk songs, ‘Kotharhal attam,' ‘Saathu pattu,' ‘Karumans sevaiyattam,' ‘Kampathu attam,' ‘Mara uri attam,' and ‘Kaliyal attam' were performed. Tribal people from not only Kanyakumari but even other districts participated in these events.

A tribal food festival featuring varieties of honey, kilangu (roots), fruits, bamboo rice, ‘puttu,' dam fish fry, meat, and palm juice (padhaneer) was also organised.

Superintendent of Police K. Bhavaneswari and Tourism Officer Hari Radhakrishnan participated in the festival.

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