Ms. Sabari G Rajan, PhD scholar from the Department of English, University of Hyderabad (UoH) presented a paper titled ‘Tracing Beliefs and Practices of Kalleli Oorali Appooppan, an Idol of Kurava Community in Kerala’ at the 6th Annual South Asia Conference, South Asia in Transformative Times, organised by Ireland India Institute and Dublin City University. The conference took place at Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland, from 19th April to 21st April 2023. Sabari is doing her PhD on the topic “Contemporary Nigerian women’s fiction” under the supervision of Prof. Pramod K Nayar.
The tribes and communities of India are diverse because many of them possess unique rituals, practices and beliefs. Most of the indigenous communities are facing a threat of sanskritisation in their religious rituals and practices. Losing their autonomy, results in their extinction as communities themselves. This paper studies the religious practices, beliefs, myths and rituals associated with Kalleli Appooppan, an idol of the Kurava Community, an indigenous tribe from the state of Kerala. The study also examines how they restrict themselves from the threat of brahmanisation or sanskritisation and how they maintain their autonomy in their ritualistic practices. From the existing orature, the myths and stories of Kalleli Appooppan have to be documented. It is relevant to be part of the academic discourse, to know more about an ancient Dravidian tribal community which is under the threat of extinction, and to produce a result in order to preserve the community and its practices.