Mannan, Caste in India

Joshua Project has identified the Mannan, Caste only in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Fort like mountains can be seen around from Adimali, a hill town in Idukki district on the eastern boarder of Kerala. Steep rocks are featured with occassional trees. Each mountain looks like a monolith. It is hard to guess about a community who live beyond these mounts with lifestyles of a century behind. We continued trekking to the top of the rock hill, heading towards Chinnappara kudy. (kudy means village).

Chinnappara kudy is situated down the valley. The nearest Mannan settlement from the town can be viewed at distance from the top of the rocks. Each Mannan cluster is referred to as kudis, which will have around 50 houses. It is said that there are altogether 600 houses in Chinnappara. Each house is sporadic on the hill slopes between cultivated lands. A plain valley in the middle is visible from here. It was made into a field with paddy, plantain, tapioca and corn. Due to the threat of rats tapioca has become rare. Small houses built of bamboo were seen among cashew and arecanut trees. Due to the 8 year old project of World Vision, development which was crossing the mountain has affected some of the houses too. Most of the houses built with handmade bricks and the roof with leaves were untouched by this development.

Mannans are believed to have migrated from country to the forest. The present king who ruled the country is staying in a hill called Kozhimala. On every annual celebration they gather in one particular village. King attends the annual celebration that is marked with many cultural events and celebrations.

Mannans worship hill gods. Hill gods are the spirits of their forefathers who ascended the mountains. But of late, owing to outside contact they have begun to worship other gods and personifications.

Mannans who were settled down in one particular forest, were evacuated by the forest departments. Some forests are safe havens for them with sandalwood and rose woods. The migrating tribals were allowed to make farmlands and cultivate for five years by deforesting. Afterwards they should proceed to interior woods once again.

Every village will have 10 to 45 houses. Forest department has appointed 2 representatives from the Mannan community in each village, Village leader (Thalaivar) and village head/elder(Kani). The former acts as an intermediary between the government and people where as the latter preside over important tribal affairs. They gather the Mannan community on special occasions and give leadership on various issues.

Most of the villages are situated 20 to 30 kilometers away from the main road. Except the villages in the town's vicinity, people from interior villages keep aloof from strangers when they step in to the village. Kani who investigates and find out the intent of the strangers, informs others about the same. Once it is announced, others come out and interact with the visitors. Women are rarely seen outside the villages.

When girls attain 13 years they are separated from their families and made to confine in large tents known as Sathram (inn). Elderly women look after these inns. Till marriage they are supposed to stay there. Inside the tent there are provisions for burning fire. Day and night the fire burns in the center of the hall. Around the fire they sleep on mats. In some inns there are platforms made up of bamboo to sit.

There will separate satrhram for young men who have crossed 20 years. Elderly men look after them. [Sathrams are found in remotest settlements only and now mostly among the Muthuvan tribe. See sathram in the Muthuvan story]

Once a girl crosses 13 years she is considered to have attained marriageable age. Girls who are ready for marriage are kept hidden in forests. Once informed, the would-be bridegrooms who proceed from his inn, look out for the hidden girl. The one who finds her before others, will be received by the girl by an act of sprinkling turmeric water. This is a sign that they ought to enter into wedlock.

Listening to the practices of the Mannan tribe I went along the red mud road to wards Thalayorappan kudy, with only a hand full of tiny huts around, very primitive than that of the Mannan. These crude straw huts belonged to the Muduvan tribe. In the four provinces of Idukki district, it is estimated that 70percent of the population comprises tribals. The sources add that there are totally 14 tribal communities. Among those who stay in the interior hills there are many who are totally insulated from the outside world. Malayarayan, Muduvan, Mannan, Urali, Ulladan, Palian, Irular, Malappulayan, Malavedan, Malappandaram are the ones who are known tribes. They have a legacy of 600 years.

Profile Source:   Philipose Vaidyar  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-09-24
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-08-31
People Name General Mannan, Caste
People Name in Country Mannan, Caste
Population in India 138,000
World Population 138,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Neriyan, Pathiyan, Perumannan, Velan
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Malayali
People Name General Mannan, Caste
Ethnic Code CNN23b
People ID 17636
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file:  5  (up to 20 largest shown)
Kerala (90,000) Tamil Nadu (44,000) Karnataka (2,700) Delhi (200)
Pondicherry (30)
Total States on file:  5  (up to 20 largest shown)
Kerala (90,000) Tamil Nadu (44,000)
Karnataka (2,700) Delhi (200)
Pondicherry (30)
Languages & Dialects on file:  3  (up to 20 largest shown)
Malayalam (91,000) Tamil (43,000) Tulu (900)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Malayalam 91,000 Tamil 43,000
Tulu 900
For Primary Language: Malayalam

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1811-1968)
New Testament Yes   (1829-1995)
Complete Bible Yes   (1841-2004)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Gateway Scripture Text / Printed Matter
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Audio Recordings
Following Jesus (India, JF Project) Film / Video
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Malayalam Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online Bible (Bibles India) Text / Printed Matter
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Online Scripture (Talking Bibles) Audio Recordings
Oral Bible Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project) Film / Video
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.05 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
99.95 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Philipose Vaidyar   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source: Philipose Vaidyar  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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