Muthuvan Tribe

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Recently, a report of the committee of experts appointed by the Kerala High Court regarding human-elephant conflict stated that traditional settlements of the Muthuvan tribal community have coexisted with the wild animals in Chinnakkanal.

About the Muthuvan Tribe:

  • The Muthuvan people live on the border hill forests of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • They speak slightly two different dialects and call each other Malayalam Muthuvan and Pandi Muthuvan.
  • Muthuvan are animists and spirit worshippers and also worship the forest gods,
  • They believe that the spirits of their ancestors are to be the first migrants to the hill forests.
  • The Muthuvan tribe has a unique system of governance called the 'Kani System'.
  • Under this system, each village is headed by a 'Kani', who is responsible for the administration of the village.
  • They have expertise in traditional medicines which are very effective and these medicines and the medicine men are confidentially preserved and passed on to the generations.
  • Occupation: Agriculture is the main occupation of these Muthuvan tribes, producing quite a number of products like ragi, cardamom and lemongrass.


Q1) What is Animism?

Animism is one of the oldest belief systems in human history and has been practiced by various cultures and societies around the world.

Source: Muthuvan tribal community coexisting with wild animals: HC panel