Hunter Gatherer Research

‘No space of our own’

The vanishing South Indian hunter-gatherers’ experience in space sharing

Hunter Gatherer Research (2019), 3, (3), 501–513.

Abstract

This paper examines rapid development during the last six decades (1962–2016) of sharing in various realms (residential, socio-cultural, economic, political and religious) between Aranadan – a vanishing hunter-gatherer tribe in Nilambur valley, South India – and their neighbours. The Aranadan tribe in Nilambur Valley of Malappuram district, Kerala, had a population below 300 in 2015. Until they were resettled in government colonies in the 1970s they were leading a semi-nomadic life in the lower valley of Nilambur forests and had little contact with non-tribal people. These colonies located in the fringes of forests are surrounded by non-tribal people. It has been observed that during the course of time the interaction of the Aranadan with their non-Aranadan neighbours has increased significantly, slowly paving the way for the non-Aranadan to share their dwelling space. They have unhesitatingly shared their physical and metaphysical space with neighbouring dominant cultures, even while realising that there remains little space of their own.

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References

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Thurston, E 1909. Castes and tribes of Southern India. Volume 11. New Delhi: Cosmo Publications. Google Scholar

Woodburn, J 1995 [1988]. African hunter-gatherer social organization: is it best understood as a product of encapsulation? Ingold, T, Rices, D & Woodburn, J (eds) Hunters and gatherers: history, evolution and social change. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 31–64. Google Scholar

Fry, CL 2003. Kinship and supportive environment of aging. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics 23:313–33. Google Scholar

Fuchs, S 1973. The aboriginal tribes of India. New Delhi: Macmillan India. Google Scholar

Gardner, PM 1985. Bicultural oscillation as a long-term adaptation to cultural frontiers: cases and questions. Human Ecology 13:411–432. Google Scholar

Iyer, LAK 1968. Social history of Kerala. Madras: Book Centre Publications. Google Scholar

Kakkoth, S 2001. Three tribes of Nilambur Valley: a study in inter-relationship between habitat, economy, society and culture. Unpublished PhD thesis. University of Calicut. Google Scholar

Kakkoth, S 2008. Aranadan. Kerala Tribal Series 2. Kuppam: Dravidian University. Google Scholar

Kakkoth, S 2009. Leadership at the eleventh hour: dynamics of leadership in a vanishing hunter-gatherer community of South India. Presented at the international conference on ‘Hierarchy and power in the history of civilizations’ held at the Moscow State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia. Unpublished. Google Scholar

Kakkoth, S 2011. Environment and aging experiences among the South Indian hunter-gatherers. Asia Research Centre Working Paper 53. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Google Scholar

Luiz, AAD 1962. Tribes of Kerala. New Delhi: Bharatiya Adimjati Sevak Sangh. Google Scholar

Memmott, P 2013. Integrating transactional people-environment studies into architectural anthropology: a case for useful theory building. In Brown, A & Leach, A (eds) Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand 2:905–917. Google Scholar

Sahlins, M 1988. Stone age economics. London: Routledge. Google Scholar

Ssorin-Chaikov, N 2000. Bear skins and macaroni: the social life of things at the margins of a Siberian state collective. In Paul Seabright (ed) The vanishing rouble: barter networks and non-monetary transactions in post-Soviet societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press:345–61. Google Scholar

Thurston, E 1909. Castes and tribes of Southern India. Volume 11. New Delhi: Cosmo Publications. Google Scholar

Woodburn, J 1995 [1988]. African hunter-gatherer social organization: is it best understood as a product of encapsulation? Ingold, T, Rices, D & Woodburn, J (eds) Hunters and gatherers: history, evolution and social change. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 31–64. Google Scholar

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Details

Author details

Kakkoth, Seetha