Nayaka Bedaga List
Ethnonyms : Jenu-Koyyo-Shola-Nayakas, Jenu Kurumba, Kattu Naikr, Kattu Nayaka, Naicken, Naiken, Naikr, Sola Nayaka
Orientation:Identification. The Nayaka are a tribal(Hunters) people. They use to live in the forest and collect honey from wild bees nests(koyyo and shola(forest), jenu(honey)
The Nayaka are scattered there amid other populations in small communities between which there are virtually no ties of any kind.
About History : In the past, scholars suggested that the food-gatherer groups of the Nilgiris were the descendants of the powerful Kuruma (Pallavas),
who fled to the wild during the ascension of the Cholla dynasty, around the ninth century a.d. More recently scholars have regarded them as
the indigenous inhabitants of the area. The Wynaad itself, as part of the Nilgiris, was in the eighteenth century a part of the kingdom of Mysore,
ruled by Haidar Ali, and later by his son Tipu Sultan. In 1803, British troops of the East India Company led by the (later) Duke of Wellington won it over.
The Nayaka believe in natural spirits that reside on hilltops, in water sources, in high trees, and on the ground. They have added Hindu deities and the deities of neighboring people to their pantheon.
About Arts. Play the bamboo flute, beat a drum, on their own. Only at the annual celebration is there any collective music making. Then dances are held, a band plays music, and a play is performed.
About Medicine. The former are treated by medicinal plants, known to all, the latter by establishing supernatural causes through divination or possession, and then by making offerings.