Kurumbas- The Kurumbas are the earliest tribal inhabitants.When the Badugas started colonizing the Nilgiris,these people move down to Attappady valley.They are the smallest tribal group.They occupy only 4.6% of the total tribal population.Until recently they had hardly any contact with the outside world,noteven with the Irulas and Mudugas,
Mudugas.-Mudugas are the second largest tribal community in the region.It is believed that the Mudugas were the original inhabitants of Coimbatore and later moved in the Attappady.They occupy about 9.6% of the total tribal population.The history of their immigration dates back to 15th Centuary.They are shivites,worshipping Lord Shiva.Mudugas consider themselves superior to Kurumbas and Irulas. though they have marriage relationship with the Kurumbas.The Irulas are considered lower caste and are not allowed to enter their huts.The caste sytem is still prevalent among the tribes.
Irulas – Irulas are numerically dominant with 82.3%of the total tribal population and are relatively advanced (?) among the trial groups.They have probably occupied this area after the Kurumbas and Mudugas.Formerly shifting cultivators but now due to land alienation they practiced settled agriculture,growing mainly cotton,indigenous grains.
Non – Tribal Community.
The early settlers from Tamil Nadu and Kerala migrated to Attappady attracted by the cheap fertile land and easy encroachment possibilities.Forest were largely cut and thus the unique ecosystem of Attappady began to disintegrate.Unfortunately, This sudden influx of people cause the major impact in the life of the tribal people in every possible way.http://picasaweb.google.com/malleeshwaram/TribalHabitats