Kurumbas and Irulas


The Kurumba houses known as "GUDLU" are temporary constructions in the forests. The traditional occupation of the Kurumbas is food gathering, like collection of honey and forests produce. They are also cultivating millets like ragi and samai on a small scale of mainly on hill slopes and mountain ridges. Honey fetches considerable remuneration for the Kurumbas. It is released much by public. Honey is collected mostly in the summer months from the cliffs, rocky crevices and the branches of giant trees. The supplement their usual diet with ample quantity of honey. Kurumbas are known to possess keen eyesight, gained possibly from constant watching of the honey bee to the hives. Now, they are mainly engaged in agriculture and those who do not own lands work as casual agricultural laborers. The Kurumbas are hard working people.

Irulas with a few subsects among them are living in Masinagudi area, and in parts of Kotagiri and Coonoor Taluks. They are generally engaged in Collection of minor forest products. This is a seasonal operation and they work as casual agricultural laborers on local estates. Some of them are also engaged in looking after the herds of cattle belonging to others. Some are engaged in agriculture in the patta lands, conditionally assigned to them, where they have raised tea, coffee, jack trees, guava etc. However, due to their poor maintenance of their land due to lack of finance, the return from these lands is meager.

The   Mullukurumbas  of   Gudalur   are  a  District  group  and  are  believed  to  belong  to  a  pre agricultural    tribe,   since   they   still    use   bow    and   arrow    for   occasional   hunting.   They  live in   nine   settlements   in   Erumad    area   and   Cherangodu   village.   They  are   mainly   agricultural labourers.  They  are  hard  working   people.