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Regions with significant populations
Tamil Nadu, Kerala
Tamil, Malayalam
Related ethnic groups
Dravidian people

The Kuravar is an ethnic Tamil community native to the Kurinji mountain region of southern India.[citation needed]


The Kuravar name derives from the kundru and avan word "Tamil" ("hill man" in English)[citation needed]


During British rule in India they were placed under Criminal Tribes Act 1871, hence stigmatized for a long time, after Independence however they were denotified in 1952, though the stigma continues.[1]

The 1906 publication the Travancore State Manual, of the princely state of Travancore, contains an entry describing the Kuravar:

The Kuravars, a race bearing resemblance to the Vedars or hill-men, form a pretty large community in Travancore, numbering 53,584 according to the last Census. The names of some places and tradition show that they must have been holding sway over some small territories on this coast. They are divided into several groups some of which are the Kunta Kurava, the Pandi Kurava, and the Kakka Kurava. Like the Pulayas they form the chief field labourers in the taluqs in which they live. They are found in the greatest number in Kunnattur, Chirayinkil, and Kottarakara. The Kunta Kurava, the most important sect among the class, resemble the Nayars in several respects. They are divided into Illam, Swarupam, &c, and follow the Marumakkathayam system of inheritance. They also celebrate the Kettu Kalyanam and Sambandham and observe sixteen days' death-pollution like the Nayars. They bury their dead and are considered extremely low in the social scale. Primary education has not made any progress among them. Barely four in a thousand can read and write.[2]



ut the subsequent Governments Denied that fact and helped the reservation mechanism which systematically oppressed this group of people who were already been oppressed for ages by their own Tamil people. This has led to protests and resentment from the community.[3] However, the Narikuravas are yet to be recognized as a scheduled tribe.


  1. ^ Meena Radhakrishna (2006-07-16). "Dishonoured by history". folio: Special issue with the Sunday Magazine. The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2007-07-06. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  2. ^ Travancore (Princely State); Aiya, V.N. (1906). The Travancore State Manual. 2. Travancore government Press. p. 402. Retrieved 2015-07-05. 
  3. ^ "Narikuravas running from pillar to post for ST status". The Hindu: Friday Review. January 14, 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Hatch, William John (1928). The Land Pirates of India. Seeley, Service & Co. 
  • Vijayathilakan, J. P. (1977). Studies on Vaagrivala. Madras Christian College, Department of Statistics. 
  • Sathyanandan, D. Theodore (2000). The Problems of Narikorava Community in Tamilnadu. Christian Literature Society. 
  • Thurston, Edgar; K. Rangachari (1909). Castes and Tribes of Southern India Volume IV - K: Kuruvikkaran, Pg 181 to 187. Madras: Government Press. 

External links[edit]