Kerala

Tribespeople herald rainy season with Kambalam

Attappady’s tribal hamlets have revived their age-old custom of heralding the monsoon with an agricultural festival named Kambalam. After several decades, Kavundikkal colony in Agali grama panchayat witnessed the first Kambalam on Sunday. The second Kambalam festival took place at Varakampadi colony in Sholayur panchayat on Monday.

Thanks to the initiative of Kudumbashree under the Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) banner, the Attappady villages have recaptured their legendary Kambalam festival by throwing seeds in their traditional fashion.

Ushering in rain

Moopans or leaders of different tribal colonies led the seed-throwing ceremony, symbolising and heralding the arrival of the monsoon season.

The summer rain that Attappady got in the past few days had helped the tribes prepare their farmlands.

Behind the Moopans, enthusiastic men and women stepped in to the tilled land. They sowed the seeds of ragi or finger millet, little millet or chama, foxtail millet or thina, corn, lentil and legumes.

Seeks blessings

Tribal priest or Mannakkaran sought the blessings of mother earth by conducting a bhumi puja using seeds, fruits, coconut and other accoutrements.

Song and dance by men, women and children followed the seed sowing rites.

“We are helping the Adivasis to recapture their agrarian culture the best way we could,” said Rajita K.R., coordinator of the programme.

She said that Adivasis would use 285 hectares of land in Attappady to cultivate various grains. “We are aiming at ensuring food security for the entire Adivasi population in 192 Attappady hamlets,” she said.

At the forefront of the Kambalam agriculture festival held at Kavundikkal were Moopan Balakrishnan, Mannukaran Eswaran Pazhani, Mannakari Kaliyamma, Ooru Samiti president Thulasi Maruthan, secretary Meenakshi Bhagyaraj, panchayat samiti president Vanchi Kallan, secretary Deepa, block panchayat president Eswari Kesan, ward member Nanji Tamandan, block member Saraswati, agriculture officer Rajit, and Kudumbasree project manager V. Sindhu.

The MKSP is sub-component of the Deendayal Antodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission, targeting improvement of women’s stature in agriculture.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 12:53:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tribespeople-herald-rainy-season-with-kambalam/article27429661.ece

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