Special Correspondent

Udhagamandalam: A two-day workshop on 'Tribal Performing Arts and Culture' will be organised by the Tribal Research Centre (TRC) at M. Palada near here on January 18 and 19.

Such a workshop was being conducted for the first time in Tamil Nadu, Director, TRC, Jakka Parthasarathy told The Hindu here on Monday.

It was part of the on-going efforts of the Hill Area Development Programme (HADP) to promote tribal welfare and preserve tribal culture. Though the Nilgiris was the home of six primitive tribal communities, the proposed workshop would confine itself to the performing arts and culture of only the Kurumbas, Irulas, Paniyans and Kattunayakans.

The total number of tribal participants would be 80 including 38 women. Among them would be the Bettu Kurumbas and Jennu Kurumbas from Bokkapuram and Mullu Kurumbas from Erumadu.

Mr. Parthasarathy said that for some time now, the elders in many of the tribal groups were expressing concern over the influence of modern dances and music on their traditional performing arts and culture. Wrong information was being conveyed about them in some of the books written by non-tribals. These issues would be discussed in the workshop.

Recommendations

The recommendations of the workshop would be submitted in a book form to the HADP, he said.

Mr. Parthasarathy said that the art forms of the four tribal groups represented the rich cultural heritage of the Nilgiris. They should be preserved at all costs. A. Kattunayakan, an exponent of various tribal art forms, would inaugurate the workshop.

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