Paliyans are the geographically isolated South Indian hill tribes. They inhabit areas in the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, along the boundary between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They are usually found in the districts of Madurai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli and Idukki.

They are an itinerant, hunting gathering tribe. The members are also engaged in gathering of forest products such as honey and raw drugs (dried medicinal plants).

Paliyans are dark in complexion, short in stature with an archaic type of nose, square face and thick lips. They have their own slangs and dialects, similar in many ways to Tamil.

Paliyans believe in Hinduism and worship all Hindu deities. They construct semi-permanent houses in the slopes of the hills. The walls are made using mud interwoven with various thin stems.

Updated on 8th April, 2015

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