Anthropolgy - Cultural Research Paper

Topics: Nair, Travancore, Battle of Colachel Pages: 3 (1036 words) Published: August 31, 2011
Alex Brebnor
ANT 101
Adrienne Stafford
Monday, July 11,2011
Cultural Research Paper

My research would be based on Nayar of India, and their customs. Before reaching puberty, Nayar women in India were married to a man according to the Talikettukalydnam rite. This three days of actual or mock defloration might be their last living contact. A man could have an unlimited number of wives. Each woman would take up twelve sandbanham husbands, who visited her one at a time at night. A woman getting pregnant could have any one of up to 12 as the father. Support often came from brothers, sisters, and children of the sisters and daughters. There was no economic unit regarding husbands and wives, no sharing of the residence between husbands and wives. Only the women within their supporting kinship groups lived with children, and any relationship affection from the man was taboo and resisted by the kinship group. Matrifocal families are economic necessities due to poverty; matriarchal families are cultural outcomes of poverty and even choices. By not having just one husband, a woman may be able to make arrangements with several men and benefit economically from them for herself and in raising children. Na-yar Hindu caste also spelled Nair. Nair is the name of a Hindu upper caste from the southern Indian state of Kerala. The Nairs were martial nobility and figured prominently in the history of Kerala.

The Nairs were classed as a martial race by the British, however were de-listed after rebelling against them under Velu Thampi Dalawa, and thereafter recruited in lower numbers into the British Indian Army. Only Nairs were recruited into the Thiruvithamkoor Nayar Pattalam (Travancore State Army), until 1945 when non-Nairs were admitted to join. This State Force (known also as the Nair Brigade) was merged into the Indian Army after independence and became the 9th Battalion Madras Regiment (the oldest Battalion in the Indian Army).

The Nairs have been described as a...

References: Nowak, B., & Laird, L. (2010). Cultural anthropology. San Diego, Bridepoint Education, Inc.
American Anthropology Association. (2010). American Anthropological Association (AAA)
Ashford University. Ashford Writing Center. Retrieved from
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