Introduction / History
The Kadar are a Scheduled Tribe living in a large part of Kerala in India and it is reckoned about six hundred tribes live in the forest regions of Kerala including Cochin. They are very respected by most anthropologists. They are also called Kadir and they speak in a mixture of the Tamil and Malayalam languages that go back a long time.
What are Their Lives Like?
Food gathering is the main work of the Kadar and they have a nomadic lifestyle (that could be a challenge to Christian missionaries looking to find them). They are reckoned to be one of six food gatherers who are endangered. They get on well with other tribes.
In the late 1940s most of them collected forest produce for governmental contractors.
The Kadar have kept their culture and have not changed their way of life. They eat honey, fish and roots for example. Their eating habits are like non vegetarians. They do not breed cattle though. Their houses are rectangular in shape and are made from bamboo and their roofs are made with leaves. They have used sticks to dig with. Iron is used now. They wear dress like bark clothes and have hair combs made from bamboo.
Marriage is very important to the Kadar. Usually the bridegroom pays a dowry to the bride. Widows are not allowed to marry again. Polygamy is common among most of the Kadar. The Kadar have a ritual for burying the dead.
What are Their Beliefs?
The Hindu goddess Kali is the main one they worship and many of their tribes have a high regard for her stone image. They follow spiritualism as well as the Hindu religion.
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