Group of Malaiyalis, Shevaroy Hills. 4386
Photographer: Madras School of Industrial Arts
Medium: Photographic print
Group of men and women of the Malaiyali tribe of the Shevaroy Hills, Tamil Nadu, southern India, taken by an unidentified photographer in the 1860s, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. The Malaiyalis, or Hill-dwellers, were a homogenous community whose subsistence and economy depended exclusively on the forests. This print is one of a series commissioned by the Government of India in the late 19th century in an attempt to gather information about the different racial groups on the sub-continent. Material was submitted by professional and amateur photographers working in studios and in the field; this photograph was attributed to the Madras School of Industrial Arts, established in 1850. The School was an important training centre for photographers in the area.