Friday, February 5, 2010
VISIT TO TRIBAL COMMUNITY
In February 2010 Margaret Shillan and Jyoti visited the Wayanad, to see how the tribal communities there were adapting to the changing situation. We learnt from a tribal leader who was from a village near to Paakkom Kotta, that whereas the shrines in the ancient sacred grove, situated in the old fortress, had been managed by high caste people, the tribals had now claimed this place as their own ancestral heritage. Here the ancestors of the Paniyas and Adiyas who were called Meloracchan and Keeyorithi had laboured, one in cultivating the land, and the other in serving in the landlord's kitchen. A tree in this sacred grove is held to have the spirit of the ancestors in it. This tree is supposed to have healing properties, and the Spirit residing in this tree had appeared to a local tribal person who had gone to the grove in search of a remedy for his ailments. The tree had asked that a worship of the Primal forefathers of the Tribal community in the Wayanad (who consist of Adiyas, Paniyas, Kurumas and Pulayas etc)should be established. This had now been achieved, which has helped the local tribals to feel that they have an identity and dignity of their own.