Irulas - Encyclopedia




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IRULAS ("Benighted ones," from Tamil, iral, " darkness"), a semi-Hinduized forest-tribe of southern India, who are found mainly in North Arcot, Chingleput, South Arcot, Trichinopoly, and the Malabar Wynaad. The typical Irulas of the Nilgiris live a wild life on the lower slopes of those hills. At the 1901 census this branch of the Irulas numbered 1915, while the total of so-called Irulas was returned at 86,087.

See J. W. Breeks, Primitive Tribes of the Nilgiris (1873); Nilgiri Manual, i. 214-217; North Arcot Manual, i. 248-249.

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