The Kattunaicken get their name from the words `kadu'(forests) & nayakan (leader/chief) and live in parts of Gudalur. They live as a nuclear family and follow patriarchy. However, land ownership is not common. The primary occupation of this community is based on hunting and gathering, especially honey. The Kattunaikans, now live near or inside estates or are settled just outside the Mudumalai and Wynad Sanctuaries. Their settlement sizes are very small, with an average of 5-8 households; sometimes just 1-2 families can be found living together.
Some Naickens, especially those living inside the Mudumalai Sanctuary and in Wyanad, have special affiliations with the Mandan Chettis and Mappilas, working in their paddy fields and supplying with forest produce, including firewood. Till today, these Naickens live with very few assets in small bamboo huts and are extremely shy in meeting outsiders. Around their houses, they grow a little ginger, coffee, pepper, tapioca and yam – but are generally not cultivators. They collect NTFP during the season, but not in large quantities. Honey is the main collection item, other items being forest pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Like the Alu Kurumbas, they have a strategy of less volume, high value collection. They have demarcated boundaries within which they forage, often the husband and wife leaving together. Now, they also work in Coorg, where there is seasonal demand for labour in coffee estates.