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Tribes in Kerala

According to 2001 Census the scheduled tribal population in Kerala is 3,64,189 (female- 184,020; male- 180169).   Tribals as seen elsewhere are found on the hills and mountains of Kerala, the Western Ghat, bordering Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Wayanad has the highest number of tribals (1,36,062).  Idukki (50973) and Palakkad (39665) districts are the next two that make the lion portion of the native tribal people groups in the state. See district wise population.  Paniyar (Paniya) are the biggest tribe among the major 35 tribes.

Primitive Tribes of Kerala

Tribal people groups who are food-gatherers (without any habit of agricultural practice), with diminishing population and very low or little literacy rates can be called as Primitive Tribes.   Cholanaikans, Kurumbas, Kattunaikans, Kadars and Koragas are the five primitive tribal groups in Kerala. They constitute nearly 5 % of the total tribal population in the State. Cholanaikans can be said as the most primitive of them and found only in the Malappuram District. Only a handful of families are living in the Mancheri hills of Nilambur forest division. Kattunaikans, another lower-hill community related to Cholanaikans, are mainly seen in Wayanad district and some in Malappuram and Kozhikode districts. Kadar population is found in Trisur and Palakkad districts. Kurumbas are living in the Attappady Block of Palakkad district. The Koraga habitat is in the plain areas of Kasaragod district.

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