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Sam Mohan Lal
1.6. Other Ethnic Groups
In addition to Uralis, there are some other hill tribes who also live in different adjoining pockets. Mainly, in Asanur which belongs to Asanur revenue village lives Soligas, Malai Goundars and Lambadies, a gipsy tribe. Kurumbars and Badagas are distributed in other revenue villages of Talavadi Panchayat Union.
1.7. Inter-Ethnic Relationship
Prevailing inter-ethnic relationship is very smooth and compatible. No hierarchy is noticed among the different groups which live in that area. In general Uralis are keeping themselves at a distance from Kurumbars because the Kurumbars are believed by them to be sorcerors and who practice black magic; but their help is sought by the Uralis if some misfortune happens to their family involving supernatural powers.
While writing about the magical powers of Kurumbars, Mandelbaum states a story which says `A Man was first rendered unconscious by magical manipulation with plant leaf incantation. They then ripped open his abdomen, extracted the entrails which they cooked and ate, filled the cavity with dirt and stones, then closed it so that no scar showed. On awakening, the victim remembered nothing of what had happened to him, but within eighteen days he would sicken and die’, (S.G. Mandelbaum 1957, p.294). Many such stories about Kurumbars are told among themselves by Uralis even now.
1.7.1. Inter-Tribal and Tribal, Non-Tribal Communication
It is observed that the inter-tribal communication is minimal and even if such communication takes place, either Tamil or Kannada is used. This phenomenon can be viewed in the following ways.
i) As a result of the thinness in population in most of the hamlets, ethnic seclusion is maintained.
ii) Non existance of a market exclusively for tribals. All the tribals go to Sathyamangalam weekly market which is approximately 25 kms. away from Dimbam where mostly one can find non-tribals whose mother tongue is Tamil.
iii) Inter-ethnic marriages and inter-ethic common festivals and worships are rare.
iv) Owing to the non-tribal settlements present in meeting places such as Asanur, Dimbam, etc., which have risen for business purposes, tribal, non-tribal interaction is found to be more towards meeting certain business needs. Depending on the mother tongue of the non-tribals with whom the Uralis interact, the selection of the language of interaction is made by the tribals. That is, with a Tamilian, the Uralis use a form of Tamil mixed with their own language and with a Kannadiga, a form of Kannada mixed with their own language is used for the purpose of communication.
v) Medium of instruction in the different schools situated in the area is only Tamil.






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