Kattunayakan is one of the tribes who had been the true inhabitants of forest. As the name indicates they were once the kings of jungles. They rarely mix with other tribes and still follow black magic and sorcery. They are completely dependent on forest and forest products and subsist on honey, roots and barks of plants and what small animals that they trap or fell with their bows and arrows.  They are also known as Then Kurumas as they collect honey from the forest.

They follow a religion which is strongly rooted in their culture and worship animals, birds, trees, rocks and snakes and almost everything natural. They also worship their ancestors. The physical features of hill-tribes are very obvious in them and their language is a mixture of all Dravidian languages.

The Kattunayakan community is found nowadays in Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. While they are called Kattunayakan in Wayanad, those belonging to interiors of Nilambur of Malappuram district are called Cholanaickan and those who live in the plains of Malappuram district are called Pathinaickans.



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