Plan to document Kani tribes’ history

Collector V. Vishnu hands over welfare measures to Kani tribes at Karayar in Tirunelveli district on Monday.  


Collector V. Vishnu has initiated steps for documenting the history, living conditions, livelihood, traditional knowledge of medicinal plants, festivals, culture, food habits, rituals etc. of Kani tribes living near Papanasam and Servalar Dams in the Western Ghats in the district with the objective of protecting their identity and taking their knowledge to the world.

The tribes, known as Kanikkaran or Kani, are traditionally nomadic community living in the Western Ghats in Kanniyakumari and Tirunelveli districts and speaking Tamil and Malayalam. They, living in Chinna Mayilaar, Periya Mayilaar and Injikuzhi areas of this scenic hilly region, cultivate lemon, cashew, jack fruit, tapioca, pepper and harvest minor forest produces like amla, honey etc. for their self-sustaining existence inside the jungles and sell these produce to the traders and the visitors coming to their place as tourists.

“We’ve medicines in the forest for diabetes, blood pressure, skin diseases, diarrhoea, stomach pain, tooth ache, rheumatism, greying of hair etc.,” says Ganesa Murthy, a Kani Tribal youth.

Their weddings, religious rituals, dances etc. have unique flavor, they say.

Mr. Vishnu visited the Kani tribal hamlets near Papanasam dam on Monday for handing over a cargo vehicle for transporting the tribes’ farm produce to the plains for selling it to the consumers.

“After two women from this tribal community cleared the exam conducted by the Department of Forest, awareness on clearing competitive exams has increased. So, we’ve planned to organise coaching classes for the aspirants through the District Employment Office in Papanasam itself,” Mr. Vishnu said.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 7:14:18 PM |

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