An Ethnography Of Housing Of Muthuvan Community In Idukki District Of Kerala: Prospects And Policy

Muthuvan one of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities in Kerala, inhabited in different settlements of Idukki and Eranakulam districts of Kerala. Traditionally, the community possesses unique skills in constructing their houses. Now, drastic trend can be observed, in the sense that the patterns of housing and habitat of the community have been changed from the age-old style to contemporary. It also has changed the notion of the community on their dwelling places and habitat. These all happened due to various internal and external interconnected factors. In a nutshell, the concept of community towards the dwelling places and the life style of individuals are also changing rapidly.In the present study an attempt has been made to sort out the problems and prospects in the construction of tribal houses and hamlets. The study provides a comprehensive understanding on the traditional practices and patterns of Muthuvan housing and its concomitant changes to the present. It also looks into the schemes and polices formulated by the government from time to time from an insider perspective. The study depicts the artistic and aesthetic ethos of traditional Muthuvan house construction and its architecture and found that modern houses are constructed without even taking into consideration of the spatial requirements and utility of the community.Finally the study recommends policy level changes taking into consideration. Muthuvan settlements into three broad categories based on their proximity to rural main stream settlement and their preserverance to maintain tradition. The study proposed that each of this category needs a different consideration while implementning new housing projects in future.Citing best practices from field level excavations the study proposes that it is hard time to focus on education, health and allied activities along with housing projects amongst Muthuvan Community.

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