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The People


Aborigines

 
The Kurubas inhabiting the forests of the Karnataka and Coorg districts have Negroid features. They are primitive in every respect. They are gatherers of food, hunters, and nomads. If they build thatched huts, it is only to set fire to them and go in search of a new habitation, the following year. 

They practice agriculture as a subsidiary occupation. Instead of ploughing the field, they scratch the surface with a sort of bamboo spear. They reap the ears of corn and allow the neighbouring villagers to collect the hay. They have no use for fodder, for they have no cattle. 

Their dress and food were of the simplest kind. The women did not know of the existence of an upper garment. The men were content with a loin cloth. Their principal meal consisted of a ball of cooked ragi-flour together with roots and fruits gathered by the women and the flesh of birds and small game hunted by the men. The Government allowed them to wander freely all over the forest area in return for planting a few teak saplings annually in the plots occupied by them.

In the past, the Jenu Kurubas were mostly dependent upon shifting cultivation and collection of honey etc. But now most of them have given up their traditional occupation and they earn their livelihood by working in forests on daily wages. The Bewttada Kurubas have been more successful in implementing government schemes. Their economic position has also considerably improved. The Social Welfare Department have several schemes to civilize these primitive tribes. These tribes has a number of manual skills such as planting timber with a primitive implement (Malu), weaving baskets, carving canes etc.


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