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Traditions in KANNUR

The Theyyam or Theyyattam is a popular ritual dance of north Kerala, south India, particularly presented in the Kolathunadu (of the present Kannur and Kasargod districts). As a living cult with centuries old traditions, ritual and custom, it embraces almost all castes and classes of Hindu religion in this region. The term Theyyam is a corrupt form of daivam or God. It is a rare combination of dance and music and reflects important features of a tribal culture. People of these districts consider Theyyam as a God and they seek blessings from Theyyam.


Handloom industry is the most important and the largest in the district. The handloom cloths of Kannur have won international reputation.
The industry was confined to the production of coarse varieties of dhoties and like, in the past. Production of quality and exportable varieties of handloom fabric was started when the Basal Evengelical Mission entered the field.
The handloom industry, which was once the monopoly of private enterprise, has since been organised on co-operative lines. It provides employment to more than a lakh persons directly and indirectly.
The hosiery industry, allied to the handloom and cotton textile sectors, is one of the oldest and important branches of the textile industry in this district.
The first hosiery factory in Kerala was set up at Kannur by the German Basel Mission at the close of the 19th century. Stiff competition from other states, non-availability of raw materials, high labour cost, etc. have contributed to the present low level of production and closure of several hosiery units.


The Kerala State Handloom Development Corporation, popularly known as HANVEEV, started functioning in 1968, with its headquarters at Kannur, For the effective development of the handloom industry in the State. This corporation has been entrusted with the implementation of handloom development schemes of the Central and State Governments.


The beedi industry is next to the handloom industry, in terms of employment potential. Though none of the raw materials required for this industry, like beedi leaves and tobacco are grown in the State, this industry has grown into an important one with a traditional image.
The Kerala Dinesh Beedi Workers Central Co-operative Society and its 22 primaries were sponsored by the State Government to rehabilitate the 42,000 workers in 450 small factories who were thrown out of employment, when the employers from outside Kerala abruptly closed down their factories during 1968. These factories were run for decades in the erstwhile district of Kannur and Badakara taluk of Kozhikode district. The society is now producing and selling beedies worth about Rs. 30 lakhs every day.


Kannur has a very important place in the fisheries map of Kerala. It has an 82 km. coastline from Kavvayi in the north to Kurichiyil in the south. Serval rivers like Valapatanam and Anjarakandy and their tributaries, swamps, irrigation tanks, paddy fields and household tanks offer vast potential for fisheries development in the inland sector. The inshore waters of the district have immense potential for fishing, especially for the commercially important varieties such as sardines (mathichala), mackerel (ayila), prawns (chemmeen) and silver bellies (mullan).
Formerly the indigenous methods which were in vogue, employed only big, medium and small size country crafts, nets and lines for fishing. Since the last few decades, mechanized fishing has become increasingly popular. However, the impact of mechanization is yet to be felt.
The fishing harbours at Valapatam and Mappila Bay provide facilities to fishing crafts for launching, landing, mooring, repairing, processing and marketing. Kavvayil, Palakkode, Puthiyangadi, Mattool, Azhikkode, Azheekkal, Kannur city, Thayyil, Edakkad, Ezharakkadappuram, Palissery, Chalil, Gopalapetta and Thalasseri are some of the important fishing centres.
The district is blessed with rivers, streams and backwaters. But there has been little organized development of fishery resources. Beside these, the district has a number of perennial tanks of varying sizes. These tanks are yet to be exploited fully.
The government is successfully implementing many schemes with the co-operation of various agencies. The Fish Farmer's Development Agency (FEDA), Brackish Water Fish Farmer's Development Agency (BWFFDA), etc are but a few of them.
The B.W.F.F.D.A came into existence in 1990 under the Societies Registration Act XXI 1860. This agency promotes prawn farming activities in two revenue districts Kannur and Kasaragod. Its affairs are managed by a managing committee under the chairmanship of the District Collector. The agency conduct macro and micro level survey of brackish water sites and prepares projects for brackish water fish farming. Proper guidance is being given to the farmers for pond-making, stocking, pond management, harvesting and marketing. The MATSYAFED takes care of fishermen's welfare. Its district office is at Kannur.
The coastal fisheries belt is divided into 11 fisheries villages and each of such village has a fishermen welfare society, formed under the Kerala Fisheries Welfare Society Act of 1980.

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