(Last Updated on : 12/12/2008)
Quite a number of tribal communities thrive in hook and corner of the state of Kerala
, Malasar tribes is one of the important amongst them. These Malasar tribes used to reside in small villages bordering the forest areas on the mountains of the districts including Anamalai, Palakkad and Darapuram. These Malasar tribes converse with each other in a language, which is a blend of the languages of Tamil and Malayalam
The meals comprise of wild yam, which is also the staple food of Malasar tribes. Nowadays, these Malasar tribes consume rice and its rice dishes.
Like many of the tribal communities of Indian subcontinent, these Malasar tribes have proved to be good cultivators, producing ample amount of products like ragi and several other types of millets. These Malasar tribes are religious minded, worshipping an indigenous god, namely "Mallung, Kali and Mariamman". To appease these deities, these Malasar tribes make sacrifice of animals like goats once a year in the month of April.
These Malasar tribes live in the hamlets, better known as "pathis" with a village leader, popularly known as Vendari. Vendari carries on the work of administration with the aid of a panchayat council. These Malasar tribes prefer to live in the plains.
Malasar tribes have got a very strong physique, though they do not have the typical characteristic body features like any other person residing in hilly province. Malasar tribes have adopted the occupation like collecting forest products, working as laborers in the fields etc.
Cultural heritage is marked by a number of rituals and rites that these Malasar tribes follow in Great Spirit. Marriage
is also an important institution of the Malasar society. Although child marriage is prohibited, adult marriage is in vogue. Also there is a custom prevalent amongst these Malasar tribes that the dead man is buried along with the personal belongings. What is also interesting that these Malasar tribes celebrate the occasion when a Malasar girl attains her puberty.