Topics: Kerala, Matrilineality, India Pages: 1 (264 words) Published: March 21, 2013
ANT 101
Dr. Hotzman
September 17, 2012

Nayar is a caste in the Kerala region of southern India and is remarkably different from other tribes and sects in the region. The Nayars were a matrilineal sect that also practised polyandry. The sect in ancient times till the 13th century was chiefly a warrior clan that served the local feudal lords and kings. In the 14th century the community slowly turned matrilineal from partilineal. The chief subsistence of the Nayars was militaristic activies that slowly became emerging agricultural in nature. The impact of the ways of subsistence among the Nayars is not apparent and the real reasons for the change in social and hierarchical customs can be put down to the physical association of Nayar women with Namboothiri Brahmins men, whose motives were driven around preserving their land and nor losing it through inheritance to sons and daughters Brahmins had with the Nayars. The impact of the subsistence activities on the kinship, gender relationships, religion and beliefs and social organisation is also studied. The decline in the the matrilineal society and the Nayars reverting back to patrilineal ways since the 19th century can be put down to the western education and globalisation and the incompatibility the setting has with the modern ways. References

Brett-Crowther, M. (1987). THE DECLINE OF NAYAR DOMINANCE (Book). International Journal Of Environmental Studies, 29(2/3), 224. Cett, F.F.(1985). Nayars of Malabar.New Delhi: Government Press. Fuller, C.J.( 1976). The Nayars Today. New York: Cambridge University Press.
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