Nayaka people

From Anarchy In Action

The Nayaka are an egalitarian foraging people in South India.


"The communnity is egalitarian," reports Nurit Bird-David.[1]

A couple who sleeps together and shares foraging duties and domestic chores eventually becomes recognized as married, without a marriage ceremony. A married couple and their children live together, although sometimes newly weds temporarily live with the bride's family.[2]


The Nayaka diet is mainly based on foraged yams, nuts, honey, and fish, along with purchased or bartererd rice. Hunting is rare, but game include deer, lizards and pigs.[3]


The Nayaka cosmovision is traditionally animistic and reveres the naturalistic devaru (spirits) and ancestors that inhabit the forest. The religion has also incorporated minor deities of Hindu neighbors.[4]

  1. Nurit Bird-David, "The Nayaka of the Wynaad, South India" in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers ed. Richard B. Lee and Richard H. Daly (1999).
  2. Bird-David, "The Nayaka."
  3. Bird-David, "The Nayaka."
  4. Bird-David, "The Nayaka."