Friday, November 15, 2013

Study on socio-economic status of tribal communities

Karnataka Folk University is conducting a research on four tribal communities which are on the verge of extinction. The aim of the research is to preserve and carry forward the socio-economic uniqueness of these tribals to the next generation, before they are completely converted by the modern world.

The research will be conducted at Mysore, Mandya, Chamarajanagar and Ramnagar districts and the chosen tribal communities are Kampanabedas, Soligas, Jenukurubas and Kadukurubas.

Everything right from their living style, food habits, worship, customs, family values will be documented to the last detail which helps in the study. As majority of these surviving tribals who are still following their ancestral customs are illiterate, audio and visual documentation is being done.

They are renowned as ardent worshipers of Lord Mahadeshwara atop Malle Mahadeshwara Hills. A team of 13 Research Assistants, including the Project Director Banjegere Jayaprakash is involved in the research considered to be the first of its kind.

Folk University Vice-Chancellor Ambalike Hiriyanna speaking to Express, said that there were around 50 tribal communities in Karnataka, and plans have been made to conduct research on atleast 37 of these tribal communities in a phased manner.

“The tribals residing in forests are encountering several problems. So measures will be taken to sort out their problems by assisting them wherever possible,” he added, stating Anthropoligical Survey of India, has also conducted a survey on the communities, but not in detail as they are proposing to do now.

In addition to the the study of the tribals, a documentation of the 'Madappa cult' (known locally as Parishe) has also be taken up by the University. The three year research project has began two months ago and an exclusive center has been established atop Mahadeshwara Hills, named as 'Karnataka Folklore University Regional Center'.

Ambalike Hiriyanna said that more than 50 students have enrolled for the course and majority of them hail from Kollegal. They are presently undergoing a ten month certified course on folkarts like Kamsale, folk dance, dollu kunitha, veerghase kunitha, veera makkala kunitha, kasuthi (embroidery), Samara Kale (martial Arts) and others that introduces them to how the tribals are living, making it easier for them to do the study.

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