Distinct culture of Narikuravas

Narikurava is an indigenous hunting tribal community in India, concentrated more in the state of Tamilnadu. They live a nomadic life.
Dr.Philo Irudhayanth has done extensive research on this and other nomadic communities in India. His notable Tamil book on the Narikurava community titled “Yaar intha Nadodigal”(translated into ‘Who are these nomads?’) provides an extensive record of their life, culture and customs.



Related articles from The Times of India, that might be useful for anthropologists:

1. Tracing a nomadic dialect from TN to Gujarat

2. Rituals reflect distinct culture of Narikuravas


Is Kangaroo a native of India?

Is Kangaroo a native of India?
“Yes” says Dr.Philo Irudhayanath in his Tamil book in 1985 named “காட்டில் கண்ட மர்மம் (Mysteries I have seen in forests)”.
Cave drawings by the early man in the “Satpura Caves” contain images of the present day Kangaroo.

This book goes on to say that for some reason Kangaroos, which originated in India, migrated to Australia. The language spoken by the Australian Aborigines  bear a strong resemblance to the South Indian Language: Tamil.

How tribal communities were formed

“In India, if you analyse where tribes are concentrated, you can observe that they are commonly found around places where several wars were fought during the ancient times. For eg, foothills of Himalayas, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Assam, Vindhya mountains, Malabar regions, East West mountain ranges.”

This is one of the interesting fact from the research book of Dr.Philo Irudhayanath, titled in Tamil “Kaatil Kanda Marmam”, published in 1985.


“Honey” facts by Dr.Philo

*நாய் தேனை நக்காது.
*சுத்தமான தேனைக் கண்டால் நாய் ஓடிவிடும்.

A dog never licks honey. It would run away if it comes in contact with pure honey.

*கரடி மரம் ஏறி தேன் கூட்டை உடைத்து தேனைக் குடிக்கும். குடித்தபின் போதை உண்டாகி மரத்தின் மேலிருந்து அப்படியே பந்துபோல சுருண்டு கீழே, “தொப்” என்று விழும்.

Tempted by honey, a bear would take all risks to climb a tree, consume it and then intoxicated it falls down with a “thud”.

தேன் குடித்த போதையில் இருக்கும் கரடியை அடித்துக் கொல்வது மிகவும் சுலபம்.

It is said that it is easy to kill a bear intoxicated by honey.

இன்னும் சுவாரசியமான நேரடி ஆய்வுகள், மறைந்த டாக்டர்.பிலோ இருதயநாத் 1980களில் எழுதிய ஆராய்ச்சி நூலான “காட்டில் கண்ட மர்மம்” நூலில் இருந்து.

A Tribute to Philo Irudhayanath

Dr. Philo Irudhayanath

A Pioneer Photographer of Tribes, Temples, People and Places 

தமிழகத்தின் முதல் மானுட ஆய்வாளர்.

Philo was a primary school teacher in Chennai who, over a period of 50 years (1940 to 1990), travelled all over south India, often in a bicycle, photographing and writing about Tribes, Temples, People and Places. His photographs and articles run into thousands. He died in 1993 unknown and unsung.