Ecological References in the Folksongs of the Kurichiyan Tribe of Kerala

Bindu Ramachandran


This article is on the folksongs of the Kurichiyans, one of many settled agricultural tribes of the Wayanad district of Kerala. Their culture is enriched by a number of folksongs and myths, which depict their traditional pattern of life and occupation, including the interesting ecological adaptations they have developed because of their constant interaction with nature. An attempt is made in this article to show how most of the Kurichiyan folksongs are, in one way or another, a narration of some environmental aspect of their life — whether about birds, animals, plants, wind, or rain. A few songs are analysed here to draw out the relationship between this tribal community and the ecosystem they inhabit and depend on.

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