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Tribes in Anamalai reserve unaware of COVID-19

Context:

Residents of two tribal settlements within the limits of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR), around 100 km off Coimbatore city, were gearing up for the annual festival of their local deity, Vairapattan.

The Kattupatti and Kuzhipatti settlements of Pulayar community have barely heard of the acronym COVID-19.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Conservation of Environment, Protected areas), GS-I: Indian Society

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR)
  2. About the tribes in Pulayar Community

About Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR)

  • Anamalai Tiger Reserve is a part of the Anamalai Parambikulam Elephant Reserve in the Southern Western Ghats.
  • It is one of the four Tiger Reserves in Tamil Nadu and is surrounded by: Parambikulam Tiger Reserve (Kerala) on the East and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) and Eravikulam National Park (Kerala) on the South West.
  • This area has over 4600 Adivasi people from six tribes of indigenous people living in 34 settlements.
  • Important tribes residing here are the Kadars, Malasars, Malaimalasar, Pulaiyars, Muduvars and the Eravallan (Eravalar).
  • Asiatic elephant, Sambar, Spotted deer, barking deer, Mouse deer, Gaur, Nilgiri tahr, Tiger, etc., can be found here.
  • Amaravathi, Udumalpet, Pollachi, Ulandy, Valparai and Manamboli are the ranges found in this reserve.

About the tribes in Pulayar Community

  • The Pulayar, also Pulaya, or Holeya or Cheramar, are a Scheduled Caste in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and are one of the main social groups found in Kerala, Karnataka and in historical Tamil Nadu.
  • Kōlam-thullal (a mask dance which is part of their exorcism rituals) and Mudi-āttam (hair-dance, which has its origins in a fertility ritual) are the dances that Pulayas are noted for.
  • Ayyankali, called as Pulaya King, rode an ox-cart challenging the ‘ban’ on untouchables from accessing public roads by caste-Hindus in 1893 and became a stated protestor for Pulayar rights. In 1907 a decree was issued to confess students from the untouchable network to government schools, due to the protests led by Ayyankali.

-Source: The Hindu

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