A language of India

Alternate Names

3,370 (1991 census). National census population figures combine Muduga of Attapady with Muthuvan, who, despite the similarity of the spelling of their ethnonym, are entirely different and separated by geographic and cultural distance (Menon 1996).


Kerala state: Palakkad district, Mannarkad sub-district, Attapady block, Abbannuru, Chandakulam, Chitturu, Chundakki, Kakkuppady, Kallamale, Karuvare, Koravanpady, Kottamale, Kottiyuru, Molakambi, Mukkali, Ommale, Pettikkallu, Thazhachundakki, Thekkumpanna, Ummathupadiga, and Veeranuru; Tamil Nadu state: Coimbatore and Nilgiris.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Also influenced by Kannada [kan] and Tulu [tcy]. Has grammatical similarities with Tamil [tam], but cannot be treated as a dialect. It is distinct in the Dravidian family (Menon 1996:274 citing Rajendran). No dialects determined on survey. Lexical similarity: 55%–57% with Malayalam [mal], 59% with Muthuvan [muv], 60% with Tamil [tam], 75% with the Attapady dialect of Irula [iru], 82%–83% with Attapady Kurumba [pkr].

Language Use

Vigorous, children learn it first. Home, village, religion. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use Malayalam [mal]. Education often determines the extent of bilingualism in it, but even some higher educated Muduga are not adequately bilingual. Used as L2 by Attapady Kurumba [pkr], Kannada Kurumba [kfi].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 25% (31% men and 17% women) (1991 census). One of the least literate communities in Kerala, but 73% of survey respondents claim to be literate in Malayalam [mal]. NT: 2018.


Malayalam script [Mlym].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Hindu.

Page Views Left: