Honeyhunting by the Kurumbas:
Honeyhunting is a seasonal activity undertaken by the Kurumbas in the months of March, April and May. It is a group activity involving 6-8 people. The first step is to make rope ladders with forest vine of the height of the cliff. Rock bees nest on cliff overhangs and tall trees from where these honeyhunters collect the combs. The cliff varies from 50-300 feet in height.
|Making Bamboo baskets|
|One end of the rope ladder is then tied to a tree on top of the cliff and is guarded by the brother-in-law of the honey-hunter, while the other end is thrown down.|
|The honey-hunter comes down the ladder singing the bee song, he smokes the comb and ...|
|...cuts the comb which falls into the basket.|
|Sale of honey|
|Processing of beeswax which was earlier wasted|
|...and a brick of pure beeswax|
Honeyhunting is a traditional activity of the Kurumbas which has with it attached abstinence and a number of beliefs and superstition.
Honeyhunting by the Irulas:
The main difference from area to area amongst tribals is mainly that of the climbing gear. Apis Dorsata hunting from high rise trees needs expertise. Indigenous techniques are devised by tribals.
|Bamboo pegs serve as a step system in the trunk|
|Climbing a bamboo pole to reach colonies|
|Tying sticks made of forest vine to a tree trunk for a firm grip|