Attappady, one of the prominent forest regions of Kerala is situated in the north eastern part of the Palghat district of Kerala. Irular, Mudugar and Kurumbar are the main tribal groups. They live in forest in closely built huts called ‘Ooru’ (hamlets) Government have constructed some concrete programmes to uplift the tribals.Attappadimountain valley nestled in the Western Ghats ranges is in Palakkad district of Kerala, south India. Attappady is a tribal abode.This 765 square Kilometres of area is bounded on the east by the Coimbatore district of Tamilnadu, north by the Nilgiris, south by the Palghat taluk and on the west by the Karimba, Pottassery and Mannarghat revenue villages of Mannarghat taluk of the Palghat District and Ernad taluk of the Malappuram district. The elevation of the Attappady valley ranges from 750-1000 metres.
The majority of the tribal people in Attappadi use arrack (country liquor) and for quite a number of them, it is their main food! Non-tribal people, the local settlers are no exception. It is a common knowledge, that because of excess demand of this stuff, many venture to produce it in their vicinity, against all governmental rules. It is the most profitable and thriving non-licensed cottage industry! This illicit distilling goes on secretly in hilly terrains not easily accessible to the excise officials. "Koda", a basic ingredient to prepare arracks is usually stored in the homes of these illicit distillers.
Strange Rituals….. Wedding
Attappadi is inhabited by three ethnic tribal groups viz., Irulas, Kurumbas and Mudgas. Their weddings include many rituals and ceremonies. Wedding is very common even at the age of 12 or 13. The wedding is usually conducted in the groom's house. The groom has to give dowry to the bride's father. They give a grand feast on the wedding day. Vegetable food is a must. Family relationships are not given much priority. The son even marries the second wife of his father. Polygamy is prevalent among them.
The woman before her delivery is kept in a specially made separate hut near her house. When the pain starts, a mid wife who has mastery over sorcery, accompanies her. After delivery the women and the baby are declared unclean for six months. She leads a peaceful life without doing any household works for three months. Husband does all the works at that time (probably regretting making her pregnant!).
When a person dies, couriers travel through out the village annoucing the death news.. Chanting the name of the dead person, the relatives and the neighbors sprinkle coriander mixed water on the dead body. The dead body , completely covered with a white cloth is then placed in a bamboo cot. A coin (nettikkasu) is pasted on the forehead. The people who come for the burial service set right all the problems that they had with the man and thus he is expected to be completely freed for his eternal journey. A whole day is spent dancing and singing (sapparayattam), thanking god for keeping the man so far. In that dance they show symbols that God gave and God took. We cannot see Adivasi people crying when somebody dies. When the father dies, the first born in the family shaves his head and when the mother dies the second son shaves his head. If there are no males in the family girls are supposed to do so.
Irula tribe leads in literacy and in education comparing other tribal groups. They are very interested to learn more. Tribal Mission strives hard to shed light to their darkened lives. As a result of the ministry among the tribals many have turned their hearts for the glory of God. We request all of yours valuable prayers for this ministry.
How to reach there
* Nearest town: Mannarghat - 38 km
o Frequent buses to Anakkatti which is in Attappadi.
o Accommodation is available at Mannarghat and at Agali.