Accepted paper:

Cultural survival of the self determined, mobile Narikkurawar in Tirunelveli, South India

Author:

Thangam Muthu Sudalaiyandi (Sarah Tucker College, South India)

Paper short abstract:

Narikkurawar are the nomadic people who live in many suburbs cities of Tamilnadu. It is believed that they migrate from the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. They strive hard to preserve their tribal identities in the midst of modern globalized society. They search for greater autonomy and even secession in order to save their distinct culture.

Paper long abstract:

Narikkurawar are the nomadic minority group of people who live in many suburbs cities of Tamil Nadu. "Nari" means fox in Tamil language. It is believed that the Narikkurawar of Tamil Nadu especially in Tirunelveli district originate from the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. They also claim themselves as the offshoot of another migrant nomad from Andhra Pradesh to Tamil Nadu known as "Kattu Nayakkar." In Northern India they are called as "Gulgulya" (means nomad). Hakki-Bigees of Karnataka ("Hakki" means bird), Nakla-vala and Petla-vala in Andhra Pradesh are also considered as same group. "Nakla" and "Petla" stand for fox and bird respectively. Their nomenclatures are directly associated with nature and especially birds and animals. They have all the characteristics of the nomadic tribes. In the caste structured Tamil society the government has enlisted them in the Most Backward Class (MBC). The mere existence of minority Narikkurawar among the majorities is not always peaceful. Being nomads, they are unable to enjoy all the benefits enjoyed by other caste groups. They are sidelined and marginalized. They consistently claim to be under the category of tribes. These self-determined nomads strive hard to preserve their tribal identities in the midst of modern, cosmopolitan, commercial and globalized society. As a result they search for greater autonomy and even secession in order to save their distinct tradition, culture and identities. This article in its final form will provide a comprehensive account of the problems faced by the Narikkurawar in the chosen area and suggest reasonable solutions.

panel MMM07
Migration and indigenous peoples