Biodiversity and Cultural Conservation: A study on the Pulluvan Community of South Kerala

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Anupama Sudesan


Pulluvan community is an indigenous community under the Hindu religion in the state of Kerala. This community of people perform Pulluvan Pattu (Praising hymns)in sacred groves and their associated temples. This study has three objectives;  to understand the impact of rapid development in the sustenance of Pulluvan community, The role of Pulluvan community in the conservation and sustenance of biodiversity and lastly the role of Pulluvan folklore in the conservation of an age-old culture of the state.  The area that  has been chosen for the study is the southern part of Kerala. Three districts were selected in  accordance with the predominance of sacred groves and their associated temples as Pulluvan  folklores are usually performed at such places .The sample for the study was chosen through  purposive sampling method and qualitative method was  the technique that was used to  analyse the data that was collected.  This study tries to assess various factors relating to Pulluvan community mainly to understand the effect of changing environment thrusted by rapid development on the survival of the Pulluvan community. Pulluvan community have been always connected to biodiversity. The word Pulluvan itself means a person who predicts from the sound of birds. The community have been performing various rituals inside the sacred groves and their associated temples from ages. The Pulluvan Pattu although praises on agriculture, it also instils in the people a need for biodiversity conservation. Pulluvan folklore can be considered as a form of nature worship whereby almost all the living creatures are considered as sacred and thereby helps in its protection. The role of Pulluvan community and their folklore in the conservation of a part of the oral tradition of the state of Kerala cannot be left acknowledged. It’s said that listening to a Pulluvan Pattu is listening to the oral history of the state. The study initially goes with realising the objective and thereby trying to provide solutions and recommendations to the same. The study intends to bring about awareness to the wider population and the authorities concerned about the fast disintegration of an indigenous culture and its people from the state of Kerala. The study also tries to indirectly bring to the notice of the authorities concerned about the impact of development on the sustenance of Sacred Groves of the state.

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