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Aranadan (ISO-639-3 code: aff)

The Aranadan (Plural Aranadar), also known as Eranadar, is one of the common primitive tribal communities found mainly in the Malapuram District of Kerala. According to Luie (1962: 39), the word Eranadan is derived from Ernad, because they are found in the east while Ernad taluk (hence they are also known as Ernadan) of the Malabar District of the composite, Madras State, before the state of the Union of India was reorganized in 1956. Aranadan is wrongly spelled as Arandan in the list of Scheduled Tribes and in Census records. In the Madras Census Report 1901, the Aranadans are described as hill tribes in Malabar. The plain people considered them the lowest among the jungle tribes (The inhabitants of Malabar) because of their food habits. If an Aranadan approaches within a hundred yards, the plain people considered themselves polluted. These restrictions are no longer enforced nowadays.

Their settlements are found scattered in Vazhikadavu, Edakkara, Aranadankara, Kavalamukkatta, Telppara, Pattakkarimpu, etc. of the Nilambur forest range. Their Area is characterized by hills, valleys, mountains, rivers, streams, forests, grasslands, etc. The hills are steep and slippery.

The Language which is spoken by each tribal community is known by its communal name. In such a way the speech of the Aranadan tribal community is known as the Aranadan language. Their speech shows features of the northern dialects of Malayalam, and of Kannada. Bindhu (1991:154) points out that their language was found to be a mixture of Malayalam, Tamil, and Tulu. Usha (1992:16 points out that the Aranadan language can be considered a dialect of Malayalam. The nasalization of vowels is a peculiarity of this language.


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