29,400 (2004 survey). Ethnic population: 32,800 (2001 census).
Kerala, Wayanad district, Mananthavady and Vythiri tahsils; Kannur and Kozhikode districts.
Kunnam, Wayanad. Lexical similarity: 60%–66% between dialects; Wayanad dialect 67%–71% with Malayalam [mal].
Shifting to Malayalam [mal], more in Kunnam than in Wayanad dialect. All are bilingual in Malayalam, but less than half with good proficiency. Many prefer Malayalam over their mother tongue and think children should learn Malayalam first. Possible reluctance to use mother tongue outside of village domain.
Malayalam script [Mlym].
A Scheduled Tribe. Consider themselves higher caste than Brahmin. An endangered language (Central Institute of Indian Languages). Further study is being done at Annamalai University. Hindu, Christian, traditional religion.