1999 – 2000

An initiation was made to preserve the art form of Kurumbas. It was necessary to spread the art of doorway decoration with vegetable dyes during festivals, among themselves to preserve it for posterity. The Kurumba youth were trained in their graphic art form to enhance their cultural values and knowledge about their own traditions of arts. A group of 10 youth were selected initially for training to bring it out in viable products which would fetch commercial return for them to continue it on long term basis, thereby passing on their tradition to future generations.

One skilled person was selected as Trainer for Kurumba Art.

Name: Shri. Kitna alias Krishnan

Age: 25 years, Married

Vocation: Plantation Labourer

Belongs to: Vellerikombu – 5 kms of trekking distance from Maamaram situated around twenty eight kms. from Ooty on Ooty – Kotagiri – Mettupalayam Road.

Experience: Ancestral learning in Kurumba Art – Does art work with vegetable juices, red clay and coal powder during festival days and local functions to decorate doorways, walls etc. He was the grandson of Krishnan, the lone traditional wall decorater of the Kurumba tribe.

List of Trainees selected for Kurumba Art at Velleri Kombu
Sl.No Name Age
1. Chandran R 25
2 Devi M. 25
3. Ganesan A. 14
4. Kannamma M. 18
5. Meenakshi 21
6. Murugan R 28
7. Ramalingam K. 30
8. Raman B. 19
9. Shivaraj T 19
10. Thangaraju 20

The Kurumba artists were taught to draw with a pencil, and paint on paper with a brush and paint by artist Y. Venkatesh

The artists were taken to craft shops in Chennai to see tribal art and crafts from other states.