JENU KURUBA COMMUNITY  (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Issues related to SC/ST)

News-CRUX-10     9th April 2024        
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Context: Basic facilities have recently remained a distant dream for the Jenu Kuruba settlement in Kodagu, even decades after independence.

Jenu Kuruba Community 

  • About: This community primarily resides in the forested areas spanning across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, with a significant presence in the districts of Mysore and Coorg, covering over 3000 square kilometers.
  • Cultural Identity: With a population exceeding 40,000, the Jenukuruba tribe stands out for its unique appearance and cultural traditions, as noted by Narayan K in 1995.
  • Meaning: In Kannada, 'Jenu' translates to honey, while 'kuruba' denotes the caste, reflecting the tribe's traditional occupation as honey gatherers within the lush forests of the Western Ghats in Southern India.
  • About the People

oPhysical Characteristics: Characterized by dark skin, medium build, and curly hair.

oOccupation: The Jenukuruba people historically engaged in various activities such as food gathering, collection of minor forest produce, and craftsmanship in handling elephants.

oLifestyle: Jenukurubas typically reside in small settlements known as Hadi, where they have traditionally practiced shifting cultivation, leading a semi-nomadic lifestyle.

oSocial Organization: Jenukuruba society operates on a semi-nomadic structure, where authority and decision-making processes are decentralized within settlements, led by a head-man (yajamana) and a ritual head or shaman (gudda), with religious matters centralized under the guidance of religious heads.

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