Adivasi Mela. Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan inaugurated the festival and Minister for Welfare of Scheduled and backward Communities A K Balan hoisted the flag in the make-shift settlement. Adivasi Mela, at Kanakakunnu Palace THIRUVANANTHAPURAM. THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State government will hold a tribal people’s festival, ‘Adivasi Mela,’ from January 19 to 26, 2010 as part of the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival. The Kerala State Nirmithi Kendra is building a tribal settlement on the Kanakakunnu Palace premises. The festival will attempt to portray the unique lifestyle and culture of tribal people, said a press release. Fishing equipment, cooking utensils, traps and hunting tools used by tribal communities will be on display. There will also be a tribal food festival. Adivasis: The term “Adivasis” (original inhabitants) refers to the Indigenous Peoples of India who possess distinct identities and cultures often linked to certain territories. The term is derived from the Hindi word “adi” which means “of earliest times” or “from the beginning” and “vasi” means inhabitant or resident, and it was coined in the 1930s. Officially they are termed as “Scheduled Tribes” (STs) which is a legal and constitutional term specifying the tribal groups with distinctive cultures, geographical isolation, shyness of contact with the community at large, traditional beliefs and practices, such as indigenous arts of dance and music, unique way of life and nature worshipping, living in unreachable areas. STs also refer to the groups living in unreachable areas with social and economical backwardness and highly depending on forests resources. Kerala: There are 36 Adivasi communities listed in this state. The majority of them belongs to the following tribes: Paniyas, Malakuravans, Malayarayans, Malavetans, Malayans, Mannans, Ullatans, Uralis, Vishawans, Arandans, Kattunaykans, Koragas, Kadar, Kurichiyans, Kurumans, Pulayans, Malsars and Kurumbas. The share of Adivasis’ population in the state is 1.14 percent. Adivasis’ literacy rate in Kerala is 57.22 percent, among them 63.38 percent are men and 51.07 percent are women. About 82 percent of Adivasis are living under the poverty line. 54 percent of Adivasis do not have permanent employment in this state. The PTVGs in Kerala are Chola Naikker, Kattunaikker, Kurumbar, Kadar and Korugar. Wayanad district of Kerala: Wayanad is the most backward district of Kerala. More than one third of the Adivasis of Kerala State resides in Wayanad district. Adivasi communities, numbering 136,062 (17.43 percent of the total population of Wayanad) do not form a homogenous entity. Major communities found in the district are Paniyan (44.77 percent), Mullu Kuruman (17.51 percent), Kurichian (17.38 percent), Kattunaickan (9.93 percent), Adiyan (7.10 percent) and Urali Kuruman (2.69 percent). Adiya, Paniya and Kattunaikan are the three tribal communities which are still seriously underdeveloped comparing with the others. Adivasis labourers can be generally categorized into three groups, namely agricultural laborers, marginal farmers and forest dependants. The Adivasi communities of Wayanad have been detribalized considerably owing to the socio-economic transition that the district has undergone since the middle of last century. Heavy influx of non-tribal people to this district since 1940s, coupled with tribal exposure to modern education, political process, and mass media, has altered the traditional lifestyle of the communities. Because of the migration from the southern districts in the 1940s and 1950s to Wayanad and the stipulations of the Forest Laws, most of the Adivasis of this district are entitled with either no land or very little.
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