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Hoopoe on a Hill

Hoopoe on a hill Profile
About us

Hoopoe on a Hill runs out of a small home in a village near Kodaikanal. We are a group of women who work together to bring wild honey gathered by adivasi communities of the Palani Hills in Tamil Nadu to you.

In 2015, we visited villages in the Palani Hills to understand the adivasis who live in and take care of our forests. As we worked on documenting their histories for a project funded by INTACH Delhi, we discovered a rich and wonderful aspect of traditional hunter-gatherer life in this region – the practice of gathering honey.

The Paliyans, an indigenous tribe in the Palani hills, foray into the Shola forests in groups for days on end to gather the honey. They camp in the forests and build their tools on the spot with vines and dried twigs. A small prayer is offered before skilful climbers clamber up (trees, caves or cliffs) to the hives. They smoke out the bees, deftly collecting only the honey chamber of the hive. The honeycombs are brought down and the honey is extracted. Leaving behind hives for the following season and the bees, they return with cans of honey on their long journey home. The adivasis have a long tradition of trading honey – earlier, in exchange for cloth or salt or what they needed, and now, for money.

Hoopoe on a hill Profile
Hoopoe on a hill Profile