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Kerala's tribal culture

Kerala’s rich tribal cultural heritage comprises about 35 tribal communities having their own traditions, cultures and lifestyles, distinct fom the rural and urban lifestyles.

Mostly found in the hilly belts of Malabar, Palakkad, Wayanad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod, these tribes have maintained their own traditions, customs, rituals, beliefs, myths and legends. Their dressing style, folk, dances and other art forms are peculiar to their regions and invariably speak about the lives of the people in the hilly tracts.

The various art forms are a reflection of their distinct, secluded and primitive social structure and human relationships.

Tribal dances have a joint participation of both men and women. Some men beat the drums and play the flutes, while both men and women move in harmony with the music producing exclamatory noises along with rhythmic steps. As the performance continues we see a woman going into a state of trance and her body shudders. The men continue dancing and making loud cries.