Tribal communities in Kerala’s Chalakudy and Karuvannur river basins find new markets for forest produce
Forest Post collaborates with six villages in Chalakudy and Karuvannur, encouraging conservation and resilient livelihoods, to preserve skills and artisan traditions.
Nagamma and Kannamma from Adichilthotti, a tiny hamlet in the Edamalayar valley in Kerala, have been trekking the rain forest in the Western Ghats for over four decades to collect the bounty of the jungle. Crossing swift streams, they walk uphill along fern-covered rocks, returning with bundles of reed bamboo. These are woven into exquisite kannadi paaya (mats with the sheen of mirrors) and baskets for their personal use. For the Muthuvar tribe, which they belong to, reed bamboo weaving is a skill handed through generations.
Now, these traditional mats, along with food, cosmetics and artisan products from the forest are finding new markets thanks to the tribal communities joining hands with village collectives, volunteers and Forest Post.