(Last Updated on : 12-10-2009)
Palleyan is one of the scheduled tribes of the state of Kerala. In the state, these Palleyan tribes mostly are found in several places like Pirmed tahsil, Kumily, Vandanmedu, Chakkupallam panchayats and also in several districts like Idukki Ernakulam, Kottayam etc. These Palleyan tribes have settled down over the years. Also these tribes are concentrated mostly in the hilly regions of the state.
There are near about nineteen families comprising of eighty two Palleyan tribes found within 2.023 hectares of land. There are several anthropologists of India who identify these Palleyan tribes as Palliyan and Palliyar. This tribal people of Kerala
are said to be of Dravidian race and reside in several parts of the South Western Ghats montane rain forests in South India, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu
These Palleyan tribes have adapted to various occupational activities namely, food gathering, hunting, fishing etc. Podu cultivation is also practiced by quite a number of Palleyan tribes. Their major source of food is yams. Instances can also be cited where many of these Palleyan tribes too have taken up profession like pastorialism, settled cultivation in order to sustain their livelihood. Hinduism is the main religion of this Palleyan tribal society. Few of them still are there who have adapted to the practices of Christianity and its different norms and rituals. However, few of their indigenous rites are being feted in great vivacity by these Palleyan tribes.
These Palleyan tribes speak the language of the same name. It belongs to the Dravidian language family and its alternative names are Palaya, Palayan, Malai Paliyar, Palliyar, Poliyar, Palani, Makkal, Seramar etc. Multiple dialects namely Mala Pulayan (Hill Pulaya, Karavazhi) are widely popular amongst the Palleyan tribal community.
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