Nagarhole is also home to certain indigenous tribes who’ve been sheltered from the mainstream, and thus practice a way of life that is syncretic with that of the wildlife in the region, rather than with the outside world.
According to one theory, after the fall of the Pallava empire many kurubas settled down in South India as small land owners and farmers, while some kurubas took to hiding in the forests of south india and adopted their lifestyle to their environment, where they developed their own culture and traditions different from others due to their prolonged isolation.
Kurubas live in small settlements called Hadi or Hatti. Originally hunter gatherers, Kurubas switched to swidden agriculture and later to collection of minor forest produce and weaving baskets. They now work as small farmers around the forests.
Tribes of Kabini
” The bear and my ancestor lived feasting on honey. The bear always left half of the honey for my ancestor. If my ancestor harvested the honey first, he left half of it for the bear. Sharing the honey thus, they lived in the forest for ages.”
– An old Kuruba Saying
– Jenu Kurubas (Honey gatherers)
– Betta Kurubas (Hill tribes)
– Kadu Kurubas (forest dwellers)
– The Yeravas and Soligas