37 Major and Minor Tribes of Kerala

A tribal school boy running in a village of Munnar, Kerala
Major and Minor Tribes of Kerala/Image Source: Navaneeth Kishor
Adivasis are the indigenous population found in the southern Indian state of Kerala. They are mostly concentrated in rural area in Western Ghat region bordering Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

According to the 2011 Census of India, the tribal population in Kerala stands at 4,84,839, which roughly translates into 1.5 per cent of overall Kerala population.

At district level in Kerala, Wayanad has highest tribal population, followed by Idukki, Palakkad and Kasaragod. There is no district in Kerala with more than 25 per cent tribal population.

In terms of sex ratio in tribal population, Kerala leads the nation and boast the sex ratio of 1035. It stands at 1031 in rural areas whereas 1070 in urban centers.

In terms of literacy in tribal poulation, the overall litaracy rate in tribal population of Kerala stands at 75.8. It stands at 80.8 for Men and 71.1 for women.

Among all the tribal communities in Kerala, Kanikaran has highest sex ratio (1130) and literacy rate (88.0).

Paniyan, Irula, Kattunaikan, and Adiyan are some of the major tribal communities in Kerala.

List of Major and Minor Tribal Communities in Kerala

1    Adiyan
2    Aranadan
3    Ervallan
4     Hill Pulaya [Mala pulayan,Kurumba Pulayan, Karavazhi Pulayan, Pamba Pulayan]
5    Irular, Irulan
6    Kadar,[Wayanad Kadar]
7    Kanikaran, Kanikkar
8    Kattunayakan
9    Kochuvelan
10    Koraga
11    Kudiya, Melakudi
12    Kurichchan [Kurichiyan]
13    Kurumans
14    Kurumbas,[Kurumbar,Kurumban]’
15    Maha Malasar
16    Malai Arayan,[Mala Arayan]
17    Malai Pandaram
18    Malai Vedan,[Malavedan]
19    Malakkuravan
20    Malasar
21     [Malayan,Nattu Malayan, Konga Malayan (excluding the areas comprising the Kasargode Cannanore,Wayanad and Kozhikode Districts)
22    Malayarayar
23    Mannan
24    Marati
25    Muthuvan, Mudugar, Muduvan
26    Palleyan [Palliyan, Palliyar, Palliyan]’
27    Paniyan
28    Ulladan [Ullatan]
29    Uraly
30     Mala Vettuvan (in Kasargode and Kannur districts)
31    Ten Kurumban. JenuKurumban]
32    Thachanadan. Thachanadan Moopan  
33    Cholanaickan
34    Mavilan
35    Karimpalan
36    Vetta Kuruman
37    Mala Panickar

Source: Statistical Profile of Scheduled Tribes in India 2013, Ministry of Tribal Affairs Statistics Division, Government of India

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