On the origin of Nairs

Posted by Maddy Labels: ,

Much has been said and written about the origins of Nairs of Malabar and to this date it still remains as murky and obscure as it was to the 15th century anthropologist or the curious foreign traveler who recorded his thoughts. It is certainly strange that no record stands or can be traced relating to the advent of this warrior class into Kerala and the reasons behind their special relationship with the Namboothiris or Brahmins of Kerala. But we could perhaps go over some of the conclusions made by leading historians and anthropologists and later summarize. Nairs did become a much studied group of people, not due to their origins, but because of their practices such as matriliny & marriage traditions, the ways they conducted war & those ‘special’ relationships with the Namboothiri.

The spelling has floated between nayar and nair over time and between writers. I have used both in the text below, signifying one and the same group. The Nair clan itself covers many other titles and groups like Menon, Panikkar, Nambiar etc, but those aspects are not discussed in this context. Today the nair’s constitute some 12-13% of the Kerala population, declining from about 18% in the 16th -17th century.

Were they hill people, were they from the North, were they Scythian in origin, were they from Tulunad, were they Chalukyar’s, and were they Nayakas? Were they perhaps Nagas or Newars from Nepal or Assam? Let us try to find out or at least understand the reasons behind all the confusion.

KVK Iyer – Zamorins of Calicut – he starts by saying that there was absolutely no hostility between the Tamil Chera rulers of Kerala and the Nayars who succeeded them as rulers of the land. In the Zamorin granthavari’s, they are called ‘Lokar’. They were somewhat equivalent to the Spartiate of Greece. In Sanskrit it means nayaka or leader. While it was originally a title, Portuguese writers extended it to cover the military followers. Today it covers everybody between the Ambalavasis on the upper end and the polluting castes at the lower end. KVK quotes Kanakasabhai that both the Tamils and Nairs came from Mongolia. However for some obscure reason the nairs followed a matriarchial system while the tamils followed a patriarchial system. Others like Kunhukuttan thampuran claim a naga lineage, but here again the nagas were patriarchial. Iyer concludes that in all probability, the nairs were a hill tribe living on the slopes of the Western Ghats. He attributes this reasoning to the consideration of Tirunelli in Wynad as their most sacred place, the title Kunnalakonatiri or ruler of the hills and waves (Zamorin) reminiscent of hill dwellings, the use of the plantain leaf for all auspicious activities, the manner of military strategy of nairs being more suited to hills & guerilla warfare than open fighting. Based on various copper plates he concludes that nairs rose to power around the 4th century AD. (Kanakasabhai also mentions that Malayalam language resembles Mongolian and that a Mongolian tribe called Marar conquered the Nagas of Malabar around 1st century AD)

KVK Iyer – History of Kerala – In this book Iyer is a little more forthright and explains the relationship between the Nampoothiris and nayars. He starts thus – The invasion of Kerala by Rajaraja 1 in 988 AD (to 1120) brought an end to the free intercourse between the Brahmins on both sides of the Ghats. Their customs diverged to create the Nampi sri or Nampoothiri. The needs for the wars brought the nayars to the forefront. The nampoothiris joined them to fight the aggressor. The camaraderie forged on the battle field was cemented by the free access of the former to the homes of the latter and this personal intimacy reinforced by the spiritual ascendancy of the former as priest gradually led to an establishment of theocracy more powerful and permanent than the Pope III of Europe. Based on this relationship the learning of Sanskrit continued in nayar homes.

He later provides a more detailed analysis; the Nairs are sometimes identified with the Satiyaputras of Ashoka’s rock edict II, Satiyaputra being held to be a variant of Striputra. They are also satisfactorily identified with the Atiyamans of the Sangham works.

Looking at the characteristics of the Nayars, the Aratta vahikas of the Mahabharata seem to provide the right comparison. They were ayudhajivans, their women had considerable freedom, the man’s heir was his sister’s son and these Aratta vahikas might themselves have been a branch of the Brahuis of baluchistan. They probably moved down south following the invasion of Darius (518-516). Some moved to Tulunad, some came through the Palakkad gap; some went to Laccadives & Ceylon. Some were stranded in pockets around North Arcot, Trichy and Salem.

C Achyuta Menon – Cochin State manual
– He states that the immigrants who subjugated the native Cherumars appear to have been the nayars. They evidentially had to struggle hard to conquer the country and even more to keep it. That they had to maintain themselves for a long time amidst hostile surroundings is evidenced by the peculiarity of the dwelling of the Nayar which by itself is like a small fort isolated from the dwellings of others and surrounded by such preparations for resistance as would be adequate against comparatively unarmed enemies. He believes that they are etymologically identical with the naik or naidu. But he confirms other opinions like Scythian origin and similarity with nagas and takshaks who entered India in the 6th century. He also believes that the naga theory is more appropriate and that this is conformed by the similarity of names, serpent worship & polyandry, and that as stated in Keralolpathi, the nagas had driven out the first Brahmin settlers. He believes this occurred about the time the naga king of Maghada conquered Ceylon in the 4th or 5th century BC.

Nagam Aiya – Travancore State manual – Quotes the Kerala mahatmyam in that nayars are the product or offspring of cohabitation between junior namboothiri offspring and women brought in by Parasurama from the groups viz rakshasas, ghandharvas & devas. The more rational Keralolpathi states that they came in together with the namboothriis from the North. By & far he states that this was a combination of Aryan and Dravidian races and after having created the group fiercely protected it from further pollution with the polluting groups below. He also mentions the similarity with the Singalas of Ceylon who are of naga stock and their matrilineal customs. He also alludes to a Tibetan origin, or that they are the same as the Newars of Nepal.

F Fawcett – Nayars of Malabar – opines that the resemblance between nayars and uriyas of Gumsoor is striking. Quoting him – ‘But the circumstance that inheritance through women was once, perhaps, the rule in Southern India cannot be accepted as of itself proof that the Nayars are identical with the Dravidians, as the people of Southern India are commonly called. It is not yet time to say whether they are or are not. To the ordinary visitor their outward appearance, customs, habitations, mode of life generally, are very different from what he sees in the Telugu or Tamil countries; for Malabar, " the west coast," is as unlike the rest of the Presidency as Burma. The only other district of the Madras Presidency which resembles Malabar, is Ganjam, more particularly the northern part of it, where the people are almost entirely Aryan. The resemblance between these, the Uriyas of Gumsoor and thereabouts, a fine fighting stock, and the Nayars of Malabar is very striking. It is not, perhaps, a mere coincidence that in these two furthest remote corners of the Presidency alone, the people at large are to be seen wearing umbrella hats to protect them from the sun.’

PCM Raja – Samoothirimaar – Looking tangentially at the origins of the Zamorins, one lands up at Nediyirippu, a place near Kondotty in Eranad -N Malabar. Raja opines that they moved there from Karnataka and originated from the shores of the River Sindhu in North India., moving towards Salem and Mysore. According to him they were Chalukyas and Agnivansha kings. He believes that the clan were part of the group that later split to become the Rajput Chauhans, malwan Parmars or Gujaratiu Solankis. According to another historian Dr Ayyathan Gopalan quoted, the originators of the clan were Manichand and Vikaram, two brothers who came from Punjab or Rajasthan, moving down through the Deccan plateau to Salem. Around the 3rd century, they moved through Coimbatore to Ernad and settled there creating the Eradi clan. They were the Manavedan and Vikraman of the Zamorin dynasty or the Puntura Konathiris. But a question remains, were the Nairs a group of people who came with them?

However it must be noted here that these two Puntura youths did utilize the existing Nayar forces, personally annexing the Polanad 10,000 in one fight on behalf of the Cheraman Perumal; fighting the Chola Rayar defeating him at Tirunavaya. So Nayars existed prior to the arrival of the Zamorin leaders.

KM Panikkar – Some aspects of Nayar Life – States that without a shadow of doubt is actually Nagar and was a totemic clan which has been living always in South India. Aryan invasion thrust one side to the west of the Ghats forming what we know as Nayars today and to the South into Ceylon as the Nagas of Ceylon. He also states based on other authority that Naga is Naya in Singalese. Buddha’s visit to Ceylon in the 2nd century BC apparently chronicles the presence of Naga people there. He sternly rebukes the supporters of the ‘Nair was Nayaka’ theory for if that were correct, they then would not have supported the Aryan superiority in spiritual & temporal matters. He also goes on to satisfactorily argue against the comparison f Tibetan polyandry with purported polyandry in Kerala that was reported entirely based on Buchanan’s totally unsatisfactory reporting on his travel in Malabar. The Nayars were not a caste, they were a race, he concludes.

Kathleen Gough – Matrilineal Kinship – At least in the first century AD, Kerala’s social structure was based upon plough agriculture with irrigation, specialized crafts and overseas trade. Productivity was sufficiently high so that more than one quarter of the population could be exempted from manual labor and set apart as specialist literate groups engaged in religion, government, warfare & wholesale trade. The nayars as the ruling and Military cases, formed the core of this aristocracy and probably comprised one quested and one fifth of the total population. But she does not get into the origins, per se.

Newar connection
There is a theory that they came from the Nepal Valley, adjacent to Tibet. Some consider them to be early descendants of the Newars of Nepal. Serpent worship is one of common custom between the Newars and Nairs. Dr. Zacharias Thundy’s theory is that groups of Newars who were partially Aryanized and would be later Dravidianized joined the Munda exodus and finally settled down in Kerala after a long period of sojourn in the eastern plains of Tamil Nadu. Newars of Nepal could be the relatives of Nairs as the Newar architecture closely resemble that of the Nalu kettu of Nairs. Nairs even now display the slightly mongoloid features, yellowish skin, sharper features and resemble Nepalese or the highlanders of Uttaranchal. Well, personally I do not see much resemblance, but maybe in the past, there was one!

Indo Scythian connections
NT Shetty’s blog and some comments there provide these clues - Bunts and Nairs are perhaps of Naga descent or perhaps with Scythians otherwise called in India as Saka. The Saka invaded India around 200 BC. The Nairi people of Central Asia with their Mittanian Aryan rulers were defeated and assimilated by the Scythians around 600 BC. Scythians were a martial people of central Asia who often went for long raiding trips against the cities of Persia and other Hindu nations of then Afghanistan. Scythians practiced Matriarchy, Polyandry and Slavery. Nairis were a sub group of Scythians. Nairi surname exists among many people from North India Nayyars, Nehrajats and Nepalese Newars. Nairs of Kerala also may have Nairi blood who had mixed with the Nagas of Ahichatra. Nairs were Nagas from Ahichatra, not ethnic Tamils. Nairs appeared in Kerala History very late only by the end of first Millennium after the repeated attacks and occupation of Kerala by Rashtrakuta forces. Nairs perhaps never talked Tamil but the Prakrit or some other Aryan tongue. Nairs did mix with few Dravidian clans including Vellalas. The arrival of Nairs led to the mixture of Tamil with Prakrit and Sanskrit words converting the language to Malayalam. In the early period of Dravidian History Nagas were regarded as the worst enemies of ancient Tamils and Nagas were not related to Dravidians.
Mythical versions
Kerala Mahatmyam - Nayars are the product or offspring of cohabitation between junior namboothiri offspring and women brought in by Parasurama from the groups viz rakshasas, ghandharvas & devas. Another mythical version says that Nairs being Kshatriyas belonging to the Nagavansham who removed their “Janivara” (sacred thread) and escaped to south to evade Parasurama..

The Vellala Link
The Vellalas were the protector class of the east coast. U B Nair states that tradition alludes to the advent of Vellalas into Malabar. It appears that 64 families of karakattu vellalars formed the Kiriyathil nayar group. They were the groups which won distinction from the pandya king for guarding the clouds and were apparently the ones brought in by Parasurama into Malabar. However it is also stated that they came in to Malabar even before parasurama, during Bhaskara ravi varma’s time 700AD. This is considered a very non plausible story due to the fact that nairs were in Malabar before 700AD.

Nairs and Bunts – Tulu research
According to Tulu legends Bunts came from aichatra madastana in “Uttaranchal” state today which is surrounded by Tibet in north and Nepal on east. The city is now called “Ram Nagar”. According to another legend ahikshetra was a place on the banks of Saraswati River. “ahi” means snake (chiefly serpent). It is believed that Bunts were “naga or serpent worshipers prior to being buta/boota or spirit worshipers. Of course, we worship our ancestors in spirits (kule) too and thus have various ways/rituals to pray and remember them (agel to kulekulu, new dress to kulekulu, marriage of kule etc.). So there is reason to believe that bunts were mainly serpent worshipers and many groups of Bunts might have come from north. Nairs or Nayars and bunts belong to same cast. Like Bunts and Nadavas (and other tuluva people) Nairs too follow their own form of inheritance called Marumakkathayam, which is “ali katt”. Bunts have “Nayaranna bali” (bali = matriarchal lineage). Last ruler/king of Kanajar (a village in Karkala Taluk) was Nayar Hegde. In this village it was prohibited to take name of the king. So Kanajar folks always called the plough equipment commonly known as nayer/naver in tulu as guddal (from kannada ‘guddali’). The royal house (oMjane ill) of Shetty’s village Kowdoor (adjacent to Kanajar) is “Naayara bettu”. Nayara is one of the 93 Bunts surname. Varma is a common surname of Nairs and Bunts.

Dopamine gene theory – Valeries Legrand (Dredged from an obscure internet link) – She has been on the subject of the Nairs of Kerala for the last one decade and hence claims to be an authority on the same. The origins of the Nairs are shrouded in mystery, but from most ancient accounts, cultures and customs, it can be safely inferred that the Nairs are Scythian of descent. The fact that recent tests indicate presence of the warrior gene 'dopamine' in them as in case of other Scythians attests to this fact. As a race they are distinct from the prevailing Aryan or Dravidian races of India. (Not yet studied or corroborated by others!)

Thomas R, Nair SB, Banerjee M -A crypto-Dravidian origin for the nontribal communities of South India based on human leukocyte antigen class I diversity. - The present study reveals that the HLA diversity of the Dravidian communities is very distinct from that in the other world populations. It is obvious that the non tribal communities of Kerala display a greater Dravidian influence, but traces of genetic admixture with the Mediterranean, western European, central Asian and East Asian populations can be observed. This article analyzes a set of South Indian non tribal and tribal groups to determine their similarity to other ethnic groups. In conclusion here, what was found was that according to the analysis of HLA Class I haplotypes, Nairs were most similar to Western European groups.

To summarize, the Nayars have been considered a derivative of local people with invading Aryans, have been wandering Scythins who settled down, the Nagas and so on. No one theory holds forte, though from all the above, the Scythian link seems to be the near fetched one. In any case, the world has forgotten the Nayars except this nayar who went on this wild goose chase. Lot more studies have to be completed before any one conclusion can be called final, but I leave that to anthropologists. Until then, it was an interesting but fruitless foray into this obscure and murky terrain.

UPDATE -  The Wandering YA Discussion on genetic deciphering to understand human migration


Indo Scythians
A similar debate in Malayalam
The Kerala Story: by Dr. Zacharias Thundy
The origin of Malabar Nairs – U Balakrishnan Nair, Calcutta review
Tamils 1800 years ago – V Kanakasabhai
Malabar Manual – Logan
History of Kerala – KV Krishna Iyer
Zamorins of Calicut – Krishna Iyer
Travancore State Manual – Nagam Aiya
Cochin State Manual – C Achyutha Menon
Matrilineal Kinship – Kathleen Gough
Pic - I think is from the original Barbosa book with plates, will update with details in due course.


  1. P.N. Subramanian

    The 'special' relationship with the Namboothires, seems to have subserved their interests.This time the article has gone over my head. This is my second attempt. At the end I am back at square one. Is it because of information overflow.

  1. cochinjew

    There is some evidence that Nayars practised Polyandry, a rare practice. Would it be possible to trace other groups or tribes that practised polyandy? not many, to my knowledge.

  1. Binu Karunakaran

    That explains Shiv Shankar Menon's interest in Baluchistan. :) Great work.

  1. Maddy

    Thanks PNS - I agree it is a complex subject with many theories,I have no answers myself.

    Thanks Cochinjew - This thing about polyandry is very much a fallout from Buchanan's exaggerated writing (and based on many other wild traveler's tales) as I mentioned. Both Gough and Panikkar and Fuller of recent have clarified / addressed this aspect. Unfortunately it was all a question of not understanding and coming to terms with matrilineal society coupled with linkage to the tales of Ramayana & Mahabharata. More on that, another day!!

    Thanks Binu - Balochi's like Punjabi jats are said to be of Scythian descent. that much is clear, what SSM is doing is I guess current affairs, rather than history :)

  1. Winnowed

    Very interesting

  1. Surya

    Very interesting post.

    I always thought Nairs were from Kerala, and Nayars were from elsewhere - I have a couple of telugu friends with the Nayar surname.

  1. arya

    i am an nair and for your information none of the aristrocratic nairs mix with the brahmins they have to marry that girl it is the lower class nairs who mix with brahmins and in kerala everybody boasts of being a nair and being a good aristrocrat

  1. Maddy

    Thanks winnowed & Surya.

    yes, indeed Nayyar is a Punjabi surname, but then who knows, with some mentions of Nair Jat similarity of origins, it may even have been the same clan!!

    Arya - thanks. Suggest you read about Illath nairs and Nair sambandham. Sambandhams spanned most Nair types, even Kiriyath!!

    The aristocracy aspect is another matter altogether since Nairs were originally soldiers and not aristocrats. more on that another day..

  1. arya

    i can bet u that people of kerala no matter what caste or religion loving to tell they are an aristrocratic nairs can u tell about anthropology of nairs i am just curious to know

  1. Maddy

    for a general idea pls read the wiki entry

    for detailed anthropological studies, check out books by Panikkar, Thurston, Fawcett amongst others.

  1. Indu Kumar

    Good collection of origins. Though they vary and contradict each other, I think we can still strike a universal string across all versions of origins. They could be Scythians who mixed with Nagas (a prominent race which existed in India from time immemorial and even mentioned in Puranas). On reaching down south in the form of invaders or mercenaries, they formed their own kingdoms incorporating and mixing with the native Dravidian clans. This way, all the different versions can be attached to a common string of origin. Probably each historian might have emphasized on one or the other of these different aspects of origin.
    So each of the versions are also true in its own way, in the sense, they were nagas and Scythians and also Dravidian. However, for the sake of genealogy, we can assume they are predominantly naga-scythians as they look different from most of the Dravidian sects.

  1. lakshmi

    agree with arya

  1. Unknown

    A few corrections...Herodotus mentioned the Scythian tribe as 'Nueri' driven by an invasion of snakes in the northern steppes to Iran and India. The primary difference between Nairs and other South Indian communities is that of polyandry...of all the tribes of mainland India, was practiced only by the Indo-Scythians. The scythian origin is not far fetched at it is a known fact that the Rajputs descended from Hephaphalites (White Huns) and was given the Kshatriya status at Mount Abu and the Jats are descendants of Indianised Huns. In fact the uniqueness of the Nairs points to the fact that they have a different origin than the other communities of Kerala. The 'Kerolotpathi' or 'Kerala Mahatmyam' can be relegated to the trash can of history.

  1. Maddy

    Thanks Prashant for the clarification, though I am arriving at a conclusion that the so called 'polyandry' actually manifested in the latter parts of the medieval age, not when the Nairs appeared on the Kerala scene. More on that later

  1. Maddy

    Thanks Lakshmi...

  1. manoj

    The genetic study [Thomas R, Nair SB, Banerjee M] you quoted actually shows the similarity between nairs and other fellow keralites.It does not show the west european connection as you said.

  1. Maddy

    Hi Manoj – Thanks for your comment, I would quote the following in response, from the said paper. I do not personally claim any further expertise in the subject of genetics.

    The allele frequency distribution in the tribal and nontribal communities when compared with the other world populations suggests that Malabar Muslims and Syrian Christians have greater influence from the Mediterranean gene pool based on the prevalence of alleles B*35 and Cw*04 in these populations.On the other hand, Hindu Nairs have been influenced by the western European gene pool based on high prevalence of alleles B*07 and Cw*07 in populations such as Belgium, Germany and Scotland. Other Hindu communities such as Ezhava and Namboothiris have features of European, central Asian and East Asian gene pools. Mitochondrial DNA studies (31) also corroborate the presence of two distinct, eastern- and western-Eurasian specific lineage groups in India, suggesting that there were at least two separate migration events to India. It is evident from the HLA class I allelic and haplotypic frequencies that the Dravidian communities of Kerala have been influenced by the gene pools of different world populations during different time periods, giving rise to a unique and distinct population having crypto-Dravidian features.

    Check this link for further details


    What a complex subject. But so many interesting theories. Very well and painstakingly researched.Congrats.

  1. drtejnaik

    quite an exhaustive research mate..kudos on that:) ...i myself hv been researching my roots [i belong to the Namadhari naik community of Western ghats, Karnataka] and more than often the info i've collected till now collates with the info available here. not to say that m linking the Naiks n Nairs here [ in my dist.its the Nadava Nayaks who are grouped with Bunts],but the mode of migrations discussed above could be similar. my info says that the Naga foot soldiers/Namadhari naiks [or Halepaiks ,ie Hale=old, Paik=foot soldier in Kannada] came down south from Ahichchatra alongwith the 33 brahmin families [Havyaks of W.Ghats] on the request of Kadamba king Mayuravarma in 4rth century A.D.[Talagunda inscription]. Incidentally the Scythian page on wikipedia talks about genetics connecting the Havyaks with other Scythian descendents in Iran n Eastern Europe. If we take the anthropological classification of Risley, he talks about a type of people, the Scytho-Dravidian, found all along the Western ghats from Gujarat to Coorg [which may extend to Nairs too], with typical features like broad head, medium nose, fair complexion,tall stature, prominent cheek bones, wavy to curly hair. Most of the members of my community match this description though there is a presence of a part of population [esp coastal] with reddish hair, n fair complexion similar to European stock.this may be explained as being due to the intermixture with European merchants/mercenaries [Greek/Roman] present all along the South Indian coast.
    i hv been piecing all these info thro a wide variety of sources. its really heartening to see similar info here all in one place.but i need to mention here that my endeavours using my caste name 'Naik' as a basis of research hasnt yielded me proper results, instead misleading at times. just see that it isnt the case with 'Nair'...widening the ambit of research with whatever reference terms [ex Lokars] you have should help.
    good luck.. expecting more:)

  1. Dhaya M

    thanks for the post! just came across it!I've always wanted to know how it all started and ur post has really helped!

  1. Maddy

    thanks Raji.. am back on this page after a long while

  1. Maddy

    thanks tej..

    actually i continued on wit the research and will post another interesting linkage soon.. keep a look out..

  1. Maddy

    thanks dhanya - as i mentioned there is more on the way..

  1. Unknown

    This is a nice conglomeration of bits & pieces regarding the origin of Nairs. I am a Kiriyath Nair and have been researching Nairs for a few years now.

    Recently, I perceived the whole origin bit from a different perspective, and saw to my surprise it sort of all fell into place. This is my basic understanding of our origins and other communities in the south that would be part of our same stock.

    Apparently everyone believes we are of the indo-scythian group, which would also explain slightly mongloid looks we might have. I feel that originally, there were only the bunts of tulunadu. These bunts then broke off into two three branches, with two branches leaving tulunadu.

    One sect ended up being the coorgs (way too many similarities with the nairs...have done enough research on them) and the other, the nairs. The third sect remained in tulunadu as the original bunts.

    I would like your feedback on the above theory postulated. Hopefully I can back it up with the research I've done.

  1. Maddy


    thanks for your comment
    there is some correctness in your theory, which actually goes a little further back before the bunts as well. i will cover it soon as i implied to Dhanya

  1. sanjaypalayat

    After reading this post i felt curious about the origin of chekavars of thiya community, they were also known as brave warriors who served Zamorin of calicut, can you research about it. I am curious because i belong to an aristocratic thiya family in calicut which had kalari tradition for centuries.

  1. Maddy

    hi sanjay - thanks - will get to the chekavers soon.. Their history is reasonably well covered in the vadakkan pattukal, so that is where the primary source is..

  1. Unknown

    Hi, Maddy,Your efferts to reach the origination of Nairs and other things related to Malabar is very intresting.I feel Nair's may have some link with olden society of "Nayeri" near todays Syria.I love to get some light on Kidav community of Pantalayani.Is "poliyandy" and Payyoli Koilandy is related?

  1. Maddy

    Hi AP..
    I do not know, but i will try to find out and reply...

  1. rohith

    Any how no doubt about the courage of nairs but not now. Therefore, we have to get up unite to keep it up.

  1. chanthu nair

    verymuch interesting. these nairs are lessthan 15% of total poulation of kerala which itself a tiny state in India. Then how come they can produce these much leaders. If you are taking Prime Minister Office,or other ministires nairs are holding the key posts. In PSUs also, same situation.If it is in corprate sector, you can see nairs at the helm of companies like infosys or microsoft indian wing etc. same in the case of science and technology. in arts and Literature also same. condition. NAIRS ARE EXCELLING IN ALL FIELDS, EXCEPT BUSINESS. ITS HIGH TIME TO GO FOR DETAILED RESERCH ON GENES OF NAIRS. If anything like that is there, pl inform us.

  1. vivek

    hi every body.... well written article maddy.... for those interested in the genetic background of the nairs.... go to these 2 websites... family tree dna project on nairs and harappa dna project... according to family tree dna nairs have east european and mediterranean lineages, whereas harappa dna project(has only data on 3 nairs)... nairs have a unique south european component in their genes , unlike south indian brahmins ....also it states that our ancestry is 58% ancestral north indian( ANI)....seema nair of pandalam college of biotechnology, patthanamthitta and her colleagues are doing a project on the genetics of kerala..... they need funds... eager parties can contact her....their publication should be due shortly!

  1. Aditya

    Vivek, firstly can you give me more info on Seema Nair's project.

    Here are the results (analysis) of two Nairs and two Namboothiris of the Harappa Ancestry Project.

    Results at K=12

    Me (Aditya)

    South Indian - 52%
    West Asian - 36%
    North Euro - 3%
    South Euro - 6%
    Siberian - 2%
    Northeast Asia - 1%

    Kiriyath Nair

    South Indian - 51%
    West Asian - 37%
    North Euro - 2%
    South Euro - 5%
    Southeast Asian - 1%
    Northeast Asian - 2%
    Amerindian - 2%

    1/2 Nair 1/2 Namboothiri

    South Indian - 52%
    West Asian - 38%
    North Euro - 4%
    South Euro - 2%
    Siberian - 1%
    Southwest Asian - 1%
    Northeast Asian - 2%

    I will post at levels K=15 and K=17 at a later time.

    The general observation and consensus is that Nayar individuals show similar admixture to that of the surrounding South Indian brahmins although the latter tends to have a tad more of the Northern European component.

    As for my opinion on the "supposed" Scythic origins of the warrior Nayars, the possibilities seem distant or rather non existant. This is evident in the fact that the actual ethnic group claiming Scythian/Saka descent like the Jatts and the Rajputs of North India seem to display a moderate level of Northern/European ,Siberian admixture which seems to lack among the Southern Nayar clan.

    However, the Siberian component is rather non existant or in minimal amounts in Northern India too.

    The problem here is that matrilineality further skewed the chances of discerning, maybe a common thread of similarities among other populations, and as a result the genetic heterogeneity.

  1. vivek

    hi, aditya .... good to see you here!...you were on dna forums earlier?.... well dr seema nair is the head of the dept of Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering at Sree Budha College of Engineering (SBCE) at Pattoor near Pandalam. .... recently she and her colleagues published an article in croatian med journal regarding the european lineage in the paternity of ezhavas....they have data on nairs too and are planning an all kerala project on dna profiling of all malayali communities throughout the state....of course hampered by lack of funds!
    personally regarding dna and genes i am a bit confused , because the results are too broad and not very specific to finding one's origin!....as an amateur physical anthropologist i feel nairs display a wide range of phenoytpes...although the majority of them conform to a mediterranean phenotype...also subtsantiated by the south european component in the harappan dna study....a small minority are fairer maybe with light eyes and taller too/ or in combination with dark skin and light eyes( this combination is seen among malayalis) or simply tall statured..... i am just postulating this as the slight proto nordic element among nairs.
    the great anthropologist hailing from kerala l ananthakrishna iyer mentioned in his personal communications with john beddoe , british anthropologist mentioned the occurence of auburn hair among namboothiris and nair children which did not significantly darken with age....chemban thalamudi! as we malaylis would put it!....i figure all this points to a minute presence of the proto nordic racial element among nairs.
    about scythians your guess is as good as mine!....the scythians originated from central asia, and similarity with nairs are primarily based on snake worship and polyandry... also ealier british authors postuletad that nairs were" dravidianized scythians"....( wigram- malabar law and custom}...
    there is an article by raman menon arguing for the scythian origin of the nairs.... malabar quartelry review 1902.... but i have been unsuccessfull in my attempts to procure it!... regards,
    vivek pillai

  1. Aditya Lakshman

    Hello again Vivek,

    Yes, I am active on dnaforums.
    Firstly, Thanks for the info on Dr.Seema Nair. Hope her project takes shape soon.
    I too subscribe to the fact that the Nayars and the Namboothiris to a certain extent display a broad range of phenotypes, but are rather a Mediterranean majority. Therefore, I have found it virtually impossible to classify them according to one or maybe even 2, or even an admixture of two certain phenotypes.
    Regarding the supposed proto-nordic phenotype. I would suppose I associate this with Dolicocephaly (long-headedness), a leptorrhine nose (aquiline nose),
    high cranial vault. I have personally seen a few Namboothiri individuals with certain angular facial features which suggest this.

    These are some personal observations I have made about the Nayar phenotype.

    1. Almost all individuals seem to be Brachycephalic and most lack the "round" occiput behind the head
    2. Some individuals tend to show dinariform. i.e again, flattening of the occiput, convex nose, and rather angular facial proportions.
    3. High cranial vault in most individuals, a common mediterranean trait.
    4. Most individuals tend to fall into the Indo-Brachid category although not as robust as other indobrachid populations of West and South-west India.

    These are only observations and certainly does not apply for the population in general.

    Chemban Thalamudi! Lol. You are right. I have seen certain individuals who fit the above description.

    "The Nayars of Malabar" by Fred Fawcett would be a good read. I suggest you try and get a copy of it.

    Ill try and post images of a diff Nayars and maybe Namboothiris just to showcase how different they can look.

  1. vivek

    hi... aditya i have read fred fawcett's book.....a great effort by a british policeman!....but strangely he as well as other anthropologists like guha, thurston , risley....put nairs in the doichocephalic category....brachycephaly is absent among malayalis unless you take immigrant tamil and canarese groups , especially the brahmins among the lot....all said and done the above mentioned anthropologists had very meagre sample sizes such as 60 for guha's observations and 40 for thruston's...perhaps fawcetts was the one with max sample size....so if brachycephaly is present among nayars as you say, it may be due to admixture with the above groups or simply a lack of observation by previous authors due to small sample size.....i would expect nairs from kasargod and palakkad to be more brachycephalic as these were gateways for canarese and tamil populations who as i mentioned earlier are more broad headed than malayalis....

  1. vivek

    also again accolades to maddy... for his other articles... royalty of palakkad, malabarese soldiers, etc....keep going maddy!

  1. Aditya Lakshman

    hey again vivek!,

    Firstly, I would like to agree with you on the fact that not all nairs are brachycephalic and that this may be attributed to canarese admixture. I guess it was an overestimation on my part. May be I should just stickk to Population Genetics instead.. :P

    Just two days ago, we have got a great deal of information (autosomal results) of various ethnic groups from the South Asian cline, including mine and a fellow Nair. I've noticed how strikingly similar the Nairs are in comparison with surrounding groups like Tamil Brahmin's and Namboothiris.

    Here are the results.

    Me. at K=12

    Mediterranean - 0%
    Far Asian - 1.6%
    Siberian - 0
    North European - 5.2%
    South Asian - 48.2%
    Caucasus - 4.5%
    Gedrosia - 39.3%
    Southwest Asian - 1.1%
    Southeast Asian - 0%

    Nair 2

    Mediterranean - 0.9% (peaks among Sardinians & Basques)
    Far Asian - 1.8%
    Siberian - 0
    North European - 3.9% (peaks among Lithuanians)
    South Asian - 48.5% (peaks among Pulliyar of T.N)
    Caucasus - 4% (peaks among Abhkazians)
    Gedrosia - 38.9% (peaks in Balochistan)
    Southwest Asian - 1.6% (peaks among Saudis)
    Southeast Asian - 0.3%

    A rather interesting choice of labeling for the Balochistan centered component.

    "Gedrosia here, seems to parallel the South-Central Asian component inferred in your ADMIXTURE analysis of Eurasian populations with K=15 and Harappa's North Indian component in Ref3 + Yunusbayev Caucasus Data Admixture @ K=15. The South Asian component, that peaks in the Tamil Pulayar, is more akin to an ASI-like component (but still with a West-Eurasian fraction subsumed under it), than the South Asian component generally inferred by Admixture."

    It is interesting to note that this Balochistan/Gedrosia component seems to be "almost" uniform between the South Indian groups (T.N Brahmins, Nairs, one or two A.P participants) which reaches almost 40% and among a few Jatt and Punjabi Brahmin individuals and a Pathan), only having a diff of about 2 or 3 percent.

  1. Aditya Lakshman

    Oh, and Kudos to Maddy for this blog! Job well done :)

  1. Maddy

    thanks vivek & aditya
    for a lot of illuminating information on the research going on. I tried to get Raman nairs article as well, but have not been sucessful so far..
    perhaps you should read a continuation of my studies in this article.
    The one major aspect that needs further study is the origin of the linkage between namboothiris and nairs and secondly the origin of matrilineal kinship..

  1. Maddy

    and thanks
    chantu and rohit...
    keep reading..

  1. vivek

    dear maddy,
    could you throw some light on the origin of the maniyani, vaniyan nair , anthur nair and poduval.... esepcially the first two and last are from north malabar ( and the vaniyan is also found in other parts of kerala)....are these four originally nairs or migrants who became assimilated into nairs?... poduval in south kerala is ambalavasi, but in kannur and payyanur they are nair!... your thoughts( or anybody's) on this ....regards, vivek

  1. Maddy

    This site gives you some explanation - though it has been hotly argued at various times in history.
    Poduval is an ambalvasi as far as I know..
    I think nairs by professional classification got an acquired status, but I may be wrong..

  1. vivek

    thanks ... maddy actually i am married to a poduval!....in payyanur their status is slightly different than in other parts of kerala...akin to nambiars, but perhaps marginally higher than nambiars!....also the vaniyan and maniyani are distributed more in north malabar than elsewhere in kerala,as for the anthru nair( potters) there is tradition of migration from andhra, although this bit of info is from journal of kerala studies, to which i do not have full access.

  1. Maddy

    yes, vivvek, there were some 'acquired status' nairs over time in the south, connected to professions like the potters etc, I will get to that another day

  1. vivek

    thanks maddy....!

  1. Ashvin

    Hi Maddy, its been ages huh ?

    You might be interested to know that the name Menon exists as a pure Punjabi surname ! I didnt know this till I met someone recently, he has / had absolutely no connection with Kerala.

    Cochinjew / Prashant - there is a theory that polyandry originated as a custom during and as a direct result of the Chera / Chola wars..

    Aditya Lakshman and Vivek - chemban mudi was considered inauspicious among Indians, unfortunately I have a few blond hairs myself :-)

  1. Aditya

    GOOD NEWS!!!

    From OpenSNP:

    At the end of last year we announced that we’ve got some funding from the German WikiMedia foundation to get more people – who are willing to share their results – genotyped. We have now settled on a process that should allow us to perform the project without too many problems. Starting today, you can apply for one of the free genotypings. In the two weeks following the deadline, we will select as many participants as we can afford to get genotyped using the 5000 Euros we received from Wikimedia.

    Other links:

    Razib Khan/GNXP post on the same - "Free 23andMe genotyping"


    Application form - "Application for a free genotyping"


    It'd be awesome if you could get some Nair participants on the list for genotyping.! This will certainly allow us to start exploring our origins.!

    Maddy and the others.. Whaddya think??

  1. Aditya

    GOOD NEWS!!!

    From OpenSNP:

    At the end of last year we announced that we’ve got some funding from the German WikiMedia foundation to get more people – who are willing to share their results – genotyped. We have now settled on a process that should allow us to perform the project without too many problems. Starting today, you can apply for one of the free genotypings. In the two weeks following the deadline, we will select as many participants as we can afford to get genotyped using the 5000 Euros we received from Wikimedia.

    Other links:

    Razib Khan/GNXP post on the same - "Free 23andMe genotyping"


    Application form - "Application for a free genotyping"


    It'd be awesome if you could get some Nair participants on the list for genotyping.! This will certainly allow us to start exploring our origins.!

    Maddy and the others.. Whaddya think??

  1. Maddy

    i am fine with the idea, why not give it a try though i think some other groups have already done it..

  1. Aditya

    Here's the bar chart for Harappa Ancestry Project participants group averages. Remember you can click on the legend or the table headers to sort.

    This is how Nairs compare with the general South Asian and its surrounding populace.


  1. vivek

    the genetic make up of nairs appears to be very similar to kerala brahmins especially!.. and slightly less european component than iyers and iyengars but by and large similar to them too....but there were only one or two nairs in this project, right aditya?....so sample size is far too low....also the european component is very vague, from which part of europe exactly?...

  1. Maddy

    thanks vivek..
    actually there is a good article you must all read which provides a serious analysis and an interesting conclusion
    നായരീഴവ ക്രിസ്ത്യാനി പുലയ മുസ്ലീം നമ്പൂരി മഹാജന സഭ

  1. vivek

    i would have loved to maddy.... but shamefully i am illiterate in malayalam.....it is something like nayarum, christiyani and muslim right?.... just learning the malayalam alphabet.... would be grateful if you could provide an english translation/ summary of the ethiran blogspot article....yours, vivek

  1. Maddy

    thanks vivek..
    well that is tricky for it is a serious article and provides much analysis. Let me ask the author if he can do the english translation. If not I will give a synopsis.

  1. vivek

    thanks .....i will try to decipher it slowly....just learing to read and write malayalam....if you could provide a synopsis that would be great!...thanks again!

  1. Maddy

    will do that, need a little more time as I was busy with something else..

  1. Unknown

    Now genome sequencing studies would unravel the secret rather than the guesses and believes.

  1. Jeyannathann Karunanithi

    Hi friends. Seriously good to see that research is being done in lines of social history and genetics to delineate the origins. I would like to post a question. Am AGAMUDAYA PILLAI from Thanjavur. Have seen that PILLAI surname is used by Nairs commonly. Would like to know whether there is relation between people who use surname of " PILLAI ". Are agamudayar subsect and Nairs related ?

  1. harilal


    Kidave is a military title given to nairs of Kurubranadu talook by zamorine. we have only a handful of Kidaves in and around here. kidave Young warrior chaps (just as Pillai)who subdued the valnambi, land/temple lords of the region for Zamorine. Kavutheri, Kodakkattu Parakkal are some of the ancestral ettukettu taravads of Kidaves which maintained Kalari and kathakali

  1. mrinal

    the word nair itself is very recent.actually the portugese were the ones who popularised that word.that word is totally unknown during the sangam period ie upto 10th century.during the decline of chola period,kerala too tried and freed from their rule.chaver pada was a word from that period.it was a part of the kerala army formed during that period to defeat chola army.kollam was the centre of the... military operation.i could not find any caste reference during that period.a lady recently said in an interview that even the military operation tactics were formulated by the brahmins.that is an utter nonsense.no such clues we got.its during the 12 th century or between 1150 to 1190.again for some 100 or so years after that social situation does't change.then we see numerous princely states forming .then comes the malik kafurs attack to south india.it did't reach kerala but almost to madura.after he gone one kerala king - tranvacore king doing some military campaign taking advantage of the chaos there.we have some reference about that king.we could not find links that caste system was very strong that period in his country.but in the cochin area brahmins were having greater influence in rule during that period.and in the northern region in kannur area too (from malappuram maybe) we see no influence of caste,samudiri rule has not established during that period.one thing also to remember.travancore king have deep relations with kannur ,but not with any other kingly families.

  1. mrinal

    earliest sasnan we got is thareesa palli cheppedu.it is in 11th century.next sasana we got is some 150 years back.all these are in tamil.taresa palli cheppedu is a proclaimation that some priviliges were granted to joseph reban a jew.given by ayyanadikal thiruvadikal.(look its not actually a name but prefixes used for a high positioned person.ayya means father or sometimes guru,adikal ,thiru all are used to present respect.)it says 5 familes of ezhavas ,given special privilages for bringing their goods to a particular market ,display there and sell it,without interference from officals,ie checking,measuring and collecting tax.pulays were mentioned as kings body gurads ,parayas as kings akampadikkar.no mention about nair(actually never it can be)mathil nayakan is mentioned.ie fort security cheif or city security cheif.the word used for it in later centuries was kottuwal ,same word adopted from hindi ,used during the sultanate rule in delhi.mathil is fort,still used in tamil.mathil nayakan was the word used in tamil region,and even in some parts of karnataka.but astonishingly and treacheously,some historians had tried to say that its a earlier form of nair.its utter stupidiy.nowhere other in kerala ,word nayakan converted to nair.actually it cannot be.all these nairs to be nayakan and whose nayakan??????????

  1. shan

    marthandavarma trusted ezhava soilders.its wrong that he as a whole mis trusted nairs.actually all pillais were not nairs.it was not a caste name but a title position granded by king.its like a lord or prabhu.bhrahimin,muslims and christian pillais were also given pillai position.in north i think its likely that entire army of kolathiri and majority of zamorins was thiyyas.there is no nair pada mentioned in the records of these kings.actually the word nair and nair pada was repeatedly used by portugese.due to many reasons our earlier historians studied and may be only read there writings ,records,letters etc.so the wide spread concept of nair pada imprinted in the minds of us.to be frank i never came across a firm evidenace of nair pada ever existed.only one was a battalion in madras regiment.and remember it was one of the first units disbanded or renamed just after independance.by then it was not actually a nair pada as many non nairs were in it.

    Varanappallil Panickers were army chiefs of Kayamkulam King. Lokanatha Panicker and Patheenatha Panicker were famous among them. After Kayamkulam King's defeat before Travancore army in 1746, the King absconded and Patheenatha Panicker killed himself with a sword in such a way that his body was cut into 3 pieces and head was lying on the south side of Thurayil Tharawad. A small temple was constructed in his memory at that spot on the south side of Thurayil Tharawad, which is still there.

  1. shan

    The ancient Kalari at Cheerappanchira of old Karappuram or current Cherthala in Alapuzha district lying on the western banks of lake Vembanad to the west of Kumarakom and Pathiramanal  island is renowned for its legendary warriors and inclusive martial arts masters who even got the prestigious privilege of teaching their life saving arts to the mythical Ayyappan of Pandalam dynasty now enshrined in Sabarimala according to folklore and popular belief. It is interesting to note that Ayyappan also known as Dharma Sastha (a synonym of the Buddha) is also associated with the Buddhist past of south India.It is evident that the family heads called the Panickers of Cheerappanchira household traditionally practiced Kalari and were chiefs in the army of Karappuram kings from the early middle ages onwards.  It could be well assumed that their inheritance of letters, health care and martial arts is a lasting legacy of the shared Buddhist and Sramana heritage of Avarnas in Kerala who were treated as untouchables and out castes under the hegemony of Brahmanic Hinduism later as rebellious and resisting marginal people who never submitted to Brahmanism and refused to offer martial and sexual slavery to the ”twice born lords of the land” who could easily lure and convert kings and queens and some of the power hungry opportunistic sections who instantly served them to establish the regime of caste and untouchability.

    Changampally Kalari in Thirunavaya in Malapuram district is associated with Mamankam, the martial carnival that settled the succession disputes in ancient Kerala once in every 12 years.the Changampally household was appointed in charge of the Kalari here by the Zamorin of Calicut in the middle ages according to local legends.  The family has converted to Islam in the 18thcentury during the Mysore occupation.  When I visited the Kalari in early February 2012, Mr Jaffar Gurukal who is running an Ayurvedic centre near the ancient Kalari told me that before conversion they were Tulu Brahmans.  This could be an elitist assimilation or fabrication done later under the hegemony of Brahmanical values; as Tulu Brahmans are never identified as traditionally having martial Kalari practice or institutions in Tulunadu or down south. Almost all Kalari households in Tulunadu and Malabar belonged to Sudra and Avarna communities.The Changam and Pally words in their house name are marked key words associated with Buddhism.  Changam or Chingam represent Chamana or Amana or Sramana culture as in Chinga Vanam or Changanassery (place names in Kottayam district).  As Sramana culture is inseparable from the month of Chingam and the great secular egalitarian festival of Onam in Kerala, the words Changam/Chingam and Pally/Pilly are also inextricably linked to the Buddhist past of Kerala

  1. kaps

    the topic is really interesting and complex. gene mapping of our community would help in revealing the real story. i would love to volunteer with the samples. let me know if any @ kapstvm@gmail.com

  1. sanjay

    very interesting post.pl visit www.nairs.in also


  1. Bindu

    so nairs and brahmins are of same stock....good......maybe brahmins are inferior to nairs..........the dead brahmins and nairs of the ancient period will be turning in their graves on seeing the attempts by the younger generations to claim more higher status.............

  1. carlton s pennyworth

    The whole research effort seems to be aimed at somehow finding an 'ARYAN' connection. Why this ineferiorty complex. Nairs are Dravidian period. Nair is a corrupted form of Tamil word Nagar-snake people. Karayalar is fishermen in Tamil. Malayalar is mountaineous people. Malayalam is Tamil with a dash of sanskrit.

  1. kaps

    sagaya raj it seems you are a grand old man to have so much knowledge regarding everything around you...its not about aryan supremacy or anything but finding the orgins of the nair race which we represent...

  1. vivek

    "dravidian"correctly means a group of languages, not a physical type of people....the culture of nairs may be of the original dravidian speakers( the indus valley inhabitants)- the snake cult, the matrilineal kinship- but the physical type has to considered separately- if the so called dravidian physical type is to be seen in the bulk of the tamil population , then the majority of nairs do not conform to it....this has been coroborrated by anthropologists like thurston, von eickstedt.guha...and many more...a recent study by balakrishnan et al on HLA showed that the nair nambuthiri population were distinct from the tamil populations....so calling oncelf aryan or dravidian does not make much sense, the aryan languages are spoken by people as diverse as bhils( predominantly proto australoid tribals) and the punjabi jatt and khatri(perhaps the most caucasoid looking people in india)!

  1. ചന്ദ്രശേഖരന്‍. പി

    I wonder why we are discussing he issue of nair ancestry. If one observes carefully the physical features of nairs, we can see an admixture so many anthropological features. Colour, built, height, eyes, facial features, like that. My mother was very whitish while I am dark. My father was dark also and he was a Namboodiri too. Many of his cousins and relatives were ,of course whitish and they had very different facial and other physical features, which we can atribute to multiple ancestry. ( This is applicable to Namboodiris, Nairs and Ezhavas alike)
    Any cultural groups those excel with good social survival techniques need not be of any single stock, race or cast. More over it is well estabilished that greater is the survival skills of any individual when he/she has a broader gene stock. It is simple and easy to think of prehistoric or historic people moving throughout the world spatially and temporally and making progeny of mixed origin. It is clearly established that modern humans have the genes of Denizovans or Neanderthals with whom they co-habited in pre historic caves ( The Altai caves and all)and had recieved genes from them through copulation. The same is applicable in the history of Kerala coast and it is unnecessary to debate on the origins of the culturally dominant groups of Kerala. No doubt , they were the off springs of the earlier migrations mixing with the then existing people in this hilly terrain. I feel this discussion is a sort of parochialism.

  1. Unknown


  1. Unknown

    your article on nair cast are very interesting,also am vary curious about the origin of nair.where did they come from.

  1. sunoj

    after reading all these comments it seems an aryan origin and european origin subserved the interest of the author. why not go for gene mapping and social survival index,the more muti ancesteral origin the more survival. that holds good for animals too. is it that they havent migrated.

  1. ajaya ghosh

    Subdivisions Home

    The Malayala Kshatriyas are divided in to more than 200 subdivisions. But In general, they can be categorized in to four main divisions – Nair Superior, Nair Proper, nair auxillary and Nair Inferior.

    Nair Superior:

    Nair Superior clans composed the Royal or ruling dynasties of Kerala. Out of the 161 Royal houses of Kerala, 157 were Nair, 3 were Nambudiri and One was Muslim.

    Broadly, the ruling clans can be divided in to two – koil thampurans and samantan nairs.

    Koil thampurans are very few in number, and major clans among them include the royal families of cochin and beypore. Current population is somewhere around 5,000.

    Koil thampuran clans:

    (1) Perumpadappu Swaroopam (Royal Family of Cochin)
    (2) Koil Thampurans of Travancore (a total of 10 clans – Kilimanoor, Keerthipuram, Pallam, Paliyakkara, Nirazhi, Anantapuram, Chemprol, Cherukol, Karamma & Vatakkematham)
    (3) Puranatt Swaroopam (Royal Family of Kottayam)
    (4) Royal Family of Beypore
    (5) Royal Family of Kondungalloor
    (6) Royal Family of Vettatnad (Extinct)

    Samantan nairs are slightly more numerous. Royal families of Travancore, chirakkal, Calicut.etc are samantan nairs. Currently they number more than 50,000 individuals, divided in to more than 150 clans.

    Major samantannair clans:

    (1) Nediyiruppu Swaroopam (Royal Family of Calicut or Zamorins)
    (2) Venad Swaroopam (Royal Family of Travancore)
    (3) Kola Swaroopam (Royal Family of Kolathunad / Chirakkal)
    (4) Thirumukhom (Most notably Pillais of Ettuveedu and Naluveedu)
    (5) Thampi (Clans in Aramana,Puthumana, Kallada, Mupidakka, Chavara, Pulimoodu, Vadasseri, Thiruvattar & Nagarcoil)
    (6) Valiyathan (Clans in Vattaparambil,Thottathil, Medayil.etc)
    (7) Unnithan (Clans in Edasseri,Kunnath, Manthiyath, Marangatt, Munjanatt, Pullelil, Manappallil.etc)
    (8) Kartha / Karthavu (Royal Family of Meenachil, Clans in Ranni, Karimattath, Cheraneloor, Mannamparambath, Alangad.etc)
    (9) Kaimal (Raja of Anjikaimalnadu, Clans in Vaikattillam, Niranampetti, Thachudaya.etc)
    (10) Samantan Menon (Royal Family of Palghat)
    (11) Samantan Nambiar (Royal Family of Kadathanad, Clans in Randuthara, Randillom, Mavila, Koodali, Kalliat.etc)
    (12) Kavalappara Swaroopam
    (13) Pulavayi Swaroopam
    (14) Arangottu Swaroopam (Royal Family of Valluvanad)
    (15) Nedunganad Swaroopam
    (16) Nayanar (Clans in Edathil,Erambala, Varikara & Vengayil)
    (17) Adiyodi (Clans in Tekkadi & Vadakkadi)
    (18) Kurangott Swaroopam
    (19) Kuthiravattath Swaroopam

    Nair Proper:

    Nair PROPER is the aristocratic and soldier class of Kerala. There are four subdivisions among them. Altogether the nair proper number somewhere around 4,000,000 to 5,000,000 people, concentrated in Kerala and neighbouring states.

    The four nair subdivisions are:

    1. Kiryathil Nair
    2. Illathu Nair
    3. Swaroopathil Nair
    4. Charna Nair

  1. masood

    Nair not a caste that is only a umbrella of sevaral castes..nair naik nayaka are awarded by kings.

  1. masood

    Mudirajas are also known as bants (buntlu) in some parts of western Andhra Pradesh. But bunts are quite wide spread in Karnataka and they are quit dominant peasant community in tulanad. All Mudirajas must know about Tulu and kannada speaking Bunts as Mudirajas were also in the profession of soldiers just like bunts during mediveal times and both were closely associated with the great Vijayanagar Empire from the day of its foundation till the last day of its survival. It is quite apparent from the fact that Mudirajas are also known as Bunts in Western Andhra Pradesh clearly indicates that bunts of Karnataka and A.P are not different from each other and both belong to one single block of people. It is also a fact that the name and fame which the great Vijayanagar Empire earned not only in India but in the entire world was due to the great contribution of the great warrior soldiers of bunt-mudiraj people of South Indian Peninsula. If there is any difference between the Mudirajas (Muthurajas) and the Bunts, it is very minor due to their regional adaptation for survival. The people who spread to Tamil and telugu speaking eastern part of South Indian peninsula came to be known as Mudirajas (Muthurajas) and the people who spread to Tulu and Kannada speaking Western part of South Indian peninsula came to be known as Bunts. While some bunt-mudirajas in some regions switched over to agricultural farming and some others in some other regions taken over fishing and fish farming for survival after the collapse of kingdoms due to establishment of colonial rule by East India Company. Here is some information which is extracted from one of the web sites of Bunts for the benefit of Mudirajas of Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu.Bunts are known to be one of the ancient and aboriginal communities of Suth Asia. About the origin of Bunts, no definitive records are available. But in the earlier centuries, some Tuluva households ruled some smaller kingdoms or areas under the kings and in some instances they were the rulers under smaller kings (e.g. Pallavas, Kadambas, Chalukyas, Kalachuryas and Hoysalas). These smaller rulers had frequent clashes, with the kings, who gave birth to a group or community of warriors who were called BHATARU in Kannada,

  1. delvixan king

    glad that such a lot of study has gone in about Nairs. it should be eqyally true of all human races that they have interminglede with may other races during he migrations across the globe over the millionsof yearsof humanity. we ead a story that the white man of England is actually a tuluva who migrated to England over the vast land stretch and got bleached on the way. It is also true that every conception produces a new unique entity incorporating all that were in the partners in copulation. plenty of marks are left in the new issue yet the new one is differrent. While considering their ancestry, thenpandits may also comment on the politco social situation of the people at the current times. Sqn Ldr G G Nair Bangalore.

  1. delvixan king

    Certainly nairs are worth researching about. Such a wonderful cocktail of races, so heady like a strong wine, making waves wherever they go. Will some researcher review the present status of Nairs not only in Kerala, but all over the world. There is a study that shows that the the present Englishman walked over across the continents from Tulunad and got bleached over the distance and time . Yet he carried many tulu words and customs like market - maru kattai, aspatal - hospital etc. Nairs were also prolific travellers and voyagers. it may be that the hill tribe from Western ghats of Kerala traveled across and fathered many of the Scythians etc. Remember the Story of Caesar's son.India has been the cradle of civilisations too. Sqn ldr G G Nair Bangalore.

  1. Maddy

    Thanks GG Nair..
    glad you enjoyed it. Another article based on genetic studies will be posted on..

  1. Unknown

    ohh i'm exhausted after reading this article. But i must say that it was very informative. i really wanted to know the meaning or being a Nair is all about. My friends in Mumbai always asks me..whats this blah blah being a Nair. You Know what Maddy, i can show them this blog & they will get a brief idea about being a Nair. and one more Question...are the Nair's of trivandrum, the Real Nair's of Kerala?? juss curious.
    Proud to be a Nair.
    Sujit Sukumaran Nair

  1. Maddy

    thanks sujit
    that is a tricky question. yes there are all kinds of nairs and some of the nairs of Trivandrum acquired the nair caste because they joined the Travancore army or helped the kingdom. I will write more about this another day

  1. Tejaswininimburia

    The one hundred and fifty years of independent movement ha made people intellectually sick and ninety percent ogre subcontinent indulge in blame gain of anti brahmin phobia. Just as HUF has lost its sheen and dissolved it is high time that India should be made confederation of Indian states where each state can define its own people and liberty to decide on Brahmins/Hinduism. Kerala and Tamilnadu will greatly benefit since they can wipe out Brahminism and their subjugation of five thousand years. Let Kerala and Tamilnadu intellectuals join and liberate from Namboodris and Brahminism and put an end to racial struggle. The advantage will be identification of the original Dravidians and intruder Aryanism and restore Dravidian glory. LONG LIVE STUPID INDIAN HISTORY AND CRAZY NAMBOODRI PHOBIA!

  1. ചന്ദ്രശേഖരന്‍. പി

    I am confused much about what Tejaswini actaully wants.

    Does she/he believe that we can put an end to the caste/race sysytem by simply subjugating/ annihilating only the brahmanic tradition and its people? If so that person is in a fool's paradise.

    Unless the castes and tribes constitutionally defined in India are not abolished by law, no leaders of any movement can attain a caste/race less society.

    Our constitution recognises the castes and is protecting them - upper or lower - and ensuring them their identity. In every instances of our records, from birth to death, we have to state our caste. Even the offsprings of the inter cast/inter religious marriages are supposed to be of a caste and the offsprings are classified by the authorities as of the caste of the father. No body in India can identify officially as a man of no caste/religion.

    Till this anomaly prevails it will be impossible to get an escape from the caste/race inferno.

    If you remove brahmins from the system, some other caste will take their position. That will be its only logical culmination.

    For such a change in our society we have to adopt a new approach to history, from where we are to look into our anthropological origins rather than the cultural origins. We have to study and analyse the movement of humans right from the Africa, thousands of years ago. We have to scientifically understand how they spread all over the globe and acquired - through many struggles, calculated risks,head-on collisions with challenges etc - their skills over many generations to reach the present level of technological and scientific achievements, from where he is ready to invade even the distant stars.

    Thinking and discussing caste /race/religion is actually accepting it in our innaards of the mind.

  1. Tejaswininimburia

    I very much stand on my legs. The issue of caste appeared only after enactment of Hindu Law by Britishers. To understand how caste and community have been misunderstood one has to go through famous case of Ganapathi Iyer versus Maharaja of Kolhapur. In India there is no caste but only communities. If caste is the prerogative under what caste Jats, Gujjars, Kapus will fit? There are only communities comprising of industrial class, mercantile class, priestly class, labour class etc.,India is the only country where priestly class are at the disposal of local people and each community have their own priests. Then where is the question of casteism? The community set up in 1500AD is not as of today and that in 1000AD was not that of 1500AD and so on. Community set up is dynamic and not static. For example upto 1000AD South India was dominated by Brahmakshatriyas who cannot be identified now. One among the groups was VAIDHYAS/AMBASHTAS to which SIRUTHONDAR and VIGYAPATHI OF VELVIKUDI GRANT viz.,SATTAN GANAPATHI belonged. The Valluvars occupied a prominent place upto CHOLAS. The VALMIKIS AND VALLUARS have the right to don sacred threads. Even now in Tamilnadu Valluvars are excellent astrologers and priests for untouchables. If the dynamic nature of community set up was not understood properly, tomorrow there will be new class of Brahmins and outcastes i.e.,those in all communities including Brahmins who cannot cope up with Science and Technology will become irrelevant and take jobs considered as menial as per current standards and become outcastes and the blame game sill start after hundred years. The greatest misunderstanding of caste is not of Manu Law but due to the fact that it was standardised through prejuidised lense of history. The societal change can never be understood through the history of Aryan invasion and one conveniently shift the blame to casteism which can satisfy one's ego for contemporary times but not for long. Any passionate person will demand scrapping of Hindu Law which has created unnecessary prejudice against anteriority. Caste can be abolished but not community set up because caste can never provide hetrogenity while community provides hetrogenity within the limited space and fit into caste as per the changing times. If one likes or not Indian polity has to accept existence of community which can never become caste. What happens in Tamilnadu the land of Periyarism? The internicine quarrel is due to fear of survival and loss of identity of one's self mistitled as caste clash.Everybody can welcome abolishing of caste but what is the alternative to the customs of various communities from birth to death? Will this also be enacted by COMMON CIVIL LAW? A true historian can never blame anybody for societal changes but will try to provide level playing field for everybody without hatred and malice towards none. Blaming Casteism and Aryan invasion theory is not going to solve the problems.

  1. Ajit John

    Great work

  1. Tejaswininimburia

    Thanks a lot. I am very happy that at least some persons like to view history as dynamic one and not as a tool to have blame game on our deficiencies but to have equanimity towards all.

  1. Trend Seeker

    Great reading. Enjoyed it. But, more confused than ever. Feels a bit shallow to compare ourselves with Caucasians alone. A more valuable and meaningful find would be to understand how we Malayalis are related genetically among ourselves. Is there any study on comparison of Nair genes to that of Ezhavas? That would be an interesting one.

  1. Tejaswininimburia

    Is it Keralites only are CAUCAUSIANS? Even here there is problem because as per Greek Historians CACAUSIANS did not refer to Turkish surrounding CASPIAN SEA but people living in HINDU KUSH. Now the question is Are Keralites relate to Hindu Kush or CACAUSIANS of CASPIAN SEA. Here also the WESTERN HISTORIANS have different standards for India and rest of World. Only in India Indo Europeans are grouped under CACAUSIANS. In rest of the world CELTS/NORSE IONIANS are not considered as CACAUSIANS and CACAUSIANS are somewhat degraded as SLAVS embracing the entire EUROPE except GAUL(FRANCE AND GERMANY)IBERIA(SPAIN/BRITISH ISLES) AND SCANDINAVIA. Hence it is stupid to follow the WESTERN HISTORIANS notion of CACAUSINS referring to SLAVS only and thus we may pride themselves as RUSSIANS. WHAT A STUPIDITY OF TRUTH? It is unfortunate that Keralites are not interested in calling themselves as Indians moreso they dislike TAMIL and they want to shift blame for the social degradation to SANSKRIT.

  1. Tejaswininimburia

    There is problem with identity of CACAUSIANS.While the Greek Historians identified it with Hindu Kush the Western Historians identity it with areas adjoining Caspian sea and Cacausian mountains The Western Historians have two sets of history one for India and another for Rest of the Word For Indians Cacausians barbaric nomadic Indo Europeans for Others Cacausians are differentiated from IONIANS/IBERAINS(SPAIN AND BRITISH ISES)NORSE(GAUL AND SCANDINAVIA). Cacausians are considered as inferior Slavs occupying Europe except IONIAN IBERIANS AND NORSE.Now the questions is whether Keralites are proud if they call themselves as Slavs.Why should they dislike any connection with Tamil and antagnostic towards Sanskrit?

  1. Maddy

    Thanks Tejaswininimburia

    The idea was just to explore the origins..It has always been man's quest for his roots that has kept history moving..otherwise one can always forget it all and live in the present like the Yogis teach..
    As there is a dearth of factual accounts relating to the history of nair's there is a lot of subjective writing around this. and the net result is that different people choose different myths to come to conclusions. Even DNA mapping will be somewhat subjective, i will cover it soon and then you will see why I say that. Tamil, Malayalam etc is all the same and also a bit different..Clan differences and customs differences will always exist and then again, everybody will agree that the Chera kingdom was Tamil speaking till the advent of namboothiris.

  1. Maddy

    thanks trend seeker,
    as i said before, try reading this,
    Mine is till work in progress and I will get to completing it soon

  1. Tejaswininimburia

    It is futile to trace DNAs in India. So many Statistical Models have unequivocally prove that unlike in the rest of the world in India it is clustered. Hence tracing the origin through DNAs is Stupid. If anyone wants to really trace MIDDLE EAST ROOT one has to read prehistoric civilization as available in Western countries not in India. Nobody has yet analysed the mysteries of HITTITES/KASSITES/HURRITES civilization since though they are Indo European why did they adopt Egyptian/Sumerian culture w.r.t writing? Why did the Indo Europeans adopted a completely different culture in India/given up the long robes/wigs etc., It has been recorded that there has been dark age in Greece from 1100BC to 800BC. Though the Jews are considered to be Semitic yet Hebrew/Aramaic was entirely developed in Media which was related to Indo Iranians. Even Turanian/Turkish language are structured like Tamil and still there is dispute raging whether Cacausian languages fall under Indo Europeans.There cannot be two conflicting theories CACAUSIANS are Indo Aryans but their language cannot be correctly considered as Indo Europeans. It is futile attempt

  1. vivek

    hi maddy.... when your study is ready please publish it...also what is the basis of your study is it historical? genetic?... regards, vivek

  1. vivek

    hi maddy.... please publish your study when it is ready.....what is the basis of your study? genetics? history?....regards, vivek

  1. Tejaswininimburia

    If really one wants to trace the correct history it should be commenced from the region Trichur to KALYAN. It is unfortunate that the megalithic sites are not studied holistically but by fits and starts. For example the burial/burnt urns with inbuilt chambers are found throughout
    deccan upto ADHICHANALLUR yet our historians adopt localisation i.e., while ADICHANALLUR sites are studied by bias on DRAVIDIAN HYPOTHESES while in DECCCAN they adopt different sstandard. The latest discoveries at KODUMANAL and PALANI points to the same trend. Dr.R.Nagaswamy had already established that the circular/rectangular burn urns follow the death rituals of SATAPADA BRAHMANA. However our historians are bent on proving that it is NON ARYAN. Further the SOUTHERN BRAHMI UPTO ANURADHAPURA ARE ALL PRE MAURYAN but Scholars are not able to digest it. The problem is too much differentiation between JAIN/HINDU/ARYAN concepts. The Brahmi script was extensively used by JAINS. Further there was a period of lull for thousand years from 800BC to first century BC in Sanskrit during which only JAINISM flourished and there was no difference between JAINS and HINDUS except that Jains worshipped INDIRA/VARUNA etc., as elevated souls while HINDUS saw them as BOON GIVING DEITIES and offered animal sacrifice. But even here there were BRAHMINS who avoided worldly life and lived only on roots and leaves. While SRAMANAS guided ordinary people THE BRAHMANAS did not took up Purohits since even by that time it was considered low and those wo performed ISHTIS with animal sacrifice alone BRAHMIN PUROHITS. That is why we find the common hierarchy stretching upto SRILANKA. In the absence of a language after disappearance of VEDIC LANGUAGE a PROTO PRAKRIT developed which under the influence of PERSIAN INVASIONS gradually became PRAKRIT for which PANINI evolved grammar in order to absorb AVESTAN language and that is why Prakrit like TAMIL also adopted THATSAM/THATBHAV to absorb so called SANSKRIT words.It is puzzling to note that only in SANSKRIT DRAMA which evolved from BHASA in first century BC that Kings and upper class spoke SANSKRIT while even ladies of HAREM and all others spoke APABRAHMSA which was wrongly interpreted as COLLOQUIAL SANSKRIT. Even in Tamil HERO AND HEROINE wil always speak CHASTE TAMIL while others colloquial TAMIL. Why is it in SANSKRIT DRAMAS even ROYAL LADIES SPOKE APABRAHMASA. Is it Kings and Upper class were from Invading SAKAS/INDO-BACRTRIANS/PAHLAVAS considered themselves superior even to Brahmins of here?Why is it in SANSKRIT DRAMAS Brahmins were depicted as JESTERS? Is it to show neo-converts to Brahminism were superior to existing Brahmins. Was creation of URDU enacted one thousand years ago by creating SANSKRIT and converting APABRAHMSA into Prakrit and finally as colloquial SANSKRIT named as PRAKRIT. Was during the time of PERSIAN INVASION SEPARATION OF TAMIL WAS SIMULTANEOUS with emergence of PROTO PRAKRIT. Tamil can never be considered as different from APABRAHMSA since the grammar of Tamil follows KATAYANA SYSTEM - each word has meaning VAK AND ARTHA the origin of syllables with each identification etc.,The old Tamil Brahmi inscriptions always shows a mixture of APABRAHMSA AND TAMIL words and it is only after PANINI SANSKRIT emerged under DHATU system and isolation of TAMIL. Even now certain words like DASYU/DASA/SHUDRA have no roots in SANSKRIT i.e., adopted from different source. Just as Islamic invasion and Moghul invasion changed KHADIBOLI/VRAJBHASHA similarly ACCHEMENIAN EMPIRE changed the course of Indian languages. While APABRAHMSA was influenced by AVESTA Tamil was influenced by ELAMITE/CHALDEAN language. Hence it is futile to trace the history of Kerala by super imposing SAMUTHIRIS/KOLATHIRIS to to thousand years history

  1. Unknown

    Hi Maddy, Do we yet have the results of the genetic study yet?

    I noticed that most studies dont take a large enough sample size.
    In the case of the Nairs, there is quite a significant difference between the ones in Malabar and those in Travancore.Your thoughts?

  1. Tejaswininimburia

    The genetic studies in India are utter waste. The physical structure of people in India does not have compatibility with the attributes as revealed by genomes. The classical cases being Kashmiris/Namboothiris/Tamil speaking Brahmins/Canarese Brahmins. The DNA varies/the structure varies but there is one commonality the least aggressive people in the whole of India never reacts to adversaries but escape from the place.What is the use of calling oneself as nearer to Eurasian/Phonecian/Meditarrenean without the characteristics of DNA? In India one can be proud of physical appearance only. Nairs can have superiority of being Indo European or Phonecian without their attributes. Otherwise the whole of Kerala will not be so dichotomic leading communism wherever possible but climbing to the top as occasion arise with communism in heart and exercise of power externally.

  1. Unknown

    Congratulations for the Nairs, being one of the progressive classes of India. But, if they do want to compare a pedigree with the Phoenicians and the early 'Talakas' it would be too heavy for them if exposed by heavy duty historical and DNA research, works.

  1. Maddy

    Vivek, D Nair

    i have put up a post on the genetic angles

    it is not a study of any sort but an amalgamation of conclusions from various published studies

  1. vivek

    thanks maddy, that was a great review.....as good as any study!..
    i feel the study on " crypto- dravidian origins" by nair, banerjee et al is the clearest of them all.....
    some points which appeared strange to me-
    a)nairs showing influence of west european haplotypes, ( i would have expected nambuthiris to do so, given their supposed "indo-aryan" origin.
    b) dr seema nair's study showing closeness of ezhavas with jat sikhs( genotypic).....
    we know phenotypically jats and ezhavas differ widely,
    but that is the problem studying genes....i remember a study where nairs and nambuthiris,where found to be genetically similar to chenchus( an aboriginal tribe of andhra pradesh)....
    so one cannot really come to a conclusion on the basis of genetic studies.

  1. Prashant nair

    You got so much knowledge on all the History stuff. I Would encourage you to write a book on Nairs one day with all facts & Figures.
    We already have one book written by
    Sweat & Sword: Trade, Diplomacy & War in Kerala Through the Ages - By K. K. Nair

  1. Sujith

    Below i put in all the Nair link to get more details
    Noe:- Some links are not working as some have been deleted by miscreants and some modified with wrong details.

    http://www.nairs.in/classifications.htm (http://www.nairs.in/nair.htm)
    http://www.nss.org.in/ (Nair Service Society)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodava_people (Search Nair - Folks songs it is used)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiruvathira (Nair Dance- Kaikottikali or Thiruvathirakali)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velakali (martial dance of Kerala-performed by the Nair community)

  1. dark knight

    Wonderful article,

    Do you mean to say that Nairs were partial scythians?
    given the genetic traits and customs like polyandry ,matriarchy/matrifocal families, worship of snakes clearly points to a partial scythian ancestry
    In fact Neuri was a sub tribe of shakas who came to India

  1. dark knight

    The genetic markers, traditional practices like matriarchy , polyandry,worship of snake goddess etc point to a scythian ancestry
    In fact NEURI was an ancient clan of scythians who roamed Gedrosia, and the word NEUR translates to "manly"in English.

    Well done for the research you have done

  1. chatachi

    Dr V. Sankaran Nair
    I am giving here the last few paragraphs from my forth coming book entitled
    "Nanchinadu: Harbinger for broadcasting rice and plough culture in the ancient world" to enliven the ongoing discussion on nair origin.

    Nair signifies plough

    Gundert in his Malayalam Dictionary (1872) makes it known that naṅgol, the word for plough, is referred to in Canara as nair. In some parts of Canara, Nair gueny refers to a kind of soccage tenure. The signposts that this finding has offered are a cornerstone to our investigation. The British, trying to find the meaning of the word Nair gueny, defined the word giving one signpost pointing to nair and the other to the plough.

    We have covered the word ‘plough,’ so far, leaving the word nair behind. Perhaps the word nair can give us some clues to the word plough. Thomas Munro and others studied the word from the point-of-view of revenue collection. Perhaps the word nair got currency from Canara, making them the custodians of the plough, the naṅgol. It can be assumed that when the words for plough, nanchil/ naṅgol, reached Canara, they became nair. As the British intention was not to find out the pre-history of the word naṅgol for plough, they didn’t strive to study the matter in that direction.
    The knowledge that the Javanese word teṅggala is from laṅgala shows the farthest extent to which the Dravidian word travelled beyond Indian borders. Similarly, the argument that the word nair gueny, probably derived from nair chief, head, or from nair, a plough, and gueny a tenant, a plough tenant, has given hope to reconstruct our thinking on the agricultural origins.

    That the word nāñcil / naṅgol in its saga across India and beyond came to be called nair signifies that a plough has given the saga man an opportunity to visualise the man behind the plough, who is called nair gueny in Tulu, making the words nair, naṅgol / nāñcil synonymous. In the beginning of this book, we found that the name of the inventor of the plough is lost in the unfathomable abyss of antiquity. But taking a cue from the findings of Thomas Munroe, Gundert and Burrow, one can find that the word nair that signifies plough is derived from naṅgol. The extensive antler worship which signified Orion, further testifies that the nairs are to be observed as the harbingers of the plough and rice culture in the ancient world.
    thank you

  1. Bharata

    Hi Maddy, its Yajna again. I've written quite a bit about Nairs here on my new blog, I hope you'll go through it :) https://throneoftruth.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/nairs/

  1. Maddy

    thanks yajna..
    will do

  1. Maddy

    thanks chatachi, dark knight, sujith,
    for all the valuable comments

  1. Giss Antony

    You are clearly on a wild goose chase, because, nair women had sexual license, and with custom of pula pedi , para pedi etc, its quite impossible to find out anscetry even by genetics.matriarchy alone , or snake worship should not be the only basis, because snake worship was prevalent in all communities of the world including africa, australia, europe and americas. And matriarchal societies of north east india would be totally unconnected to nairs or (who knows may be they are connected).let take it this way, time has gone too far for nairs to claim their origin.they are a mixture.and the custom that nair woman had to remove their blouse on entering namboothiri household makes me feel they were just a slave community , getting land only after the coming of the british and possibly european genes as well.

  1. Giss Antony

    Kerala should be proud of its culture...if nairs were warriors earlier on how could brahmins come and subdue them.dont have much knowledge so no offence meant.

  1. vivek

    please maddy, reply to the above comments!....calling a community "slaves" and then apologising for "dont have much knowledge" is not done!

  1. Maddy

    its ok vivek
    the gal is a student_lots of study ahead of her.
    she will figure it out one day

  1. Ramu Kaviyoor

    1. Giss Antony! Mannappedi/Pulappedi was applicable to all castes and religions – the ‘pollution’ was not confined to Nairs. Any woman found outside her home after sunset (on ‘Atham’ naal in Karkitakam) unaccompanied by a male would be ‘polluted’ if a lower caste man made contact even by throwing a stone. Muslims and Christians too were not free from this, till it was stopped in 17th century.
    2. The Nampoothiris managed to style themselves as Bhoosuras/Bhoodevas, divine being of earth, and manipulated others with their knowledge of Vedas. They had also manufactures books like ‘manusmrithi’ to consolidate their position. The most gullible were the rulers. Once they accepted Brahmins as divine representatives, others had no option.
    3. Some have also referred to Nampoothiri’s ‘sambandham’. It was not confined to Nair women. (Kshathriya women too were not excluded, though such instances were rare). Nampoothiris could sleep with any woman belonging to other Hindu castes/Islam/Christianity. It was just ‘temporary relationship’ not deemed as ‘sambandham’. A Nampoothiri having such relationship was called ‘Koodan’ (കൂടന്‍). Ezhavas, Parayas, Pulayas etc as well as Christians and Muslims with fair complexion were also called koodans (Koodas, fem.) to suggest that they could be koodan’s offspring– but some of them were obviously children of converts from Hindu upper castes. A koodan Nampoothiri had to take three dips during his early morning bath after the ‘visits’ to get rid of his ‘sin’. If he visited a Nair or Kshatriya woman, one dip was sufficient!

  1. Ajay19

    Hi Maddy, interesting post. I doubt Nairs have any direct Scythian ancestry. A true Scythian would never be parted from his beloved horse! An ancient Portuguese writer describing the Nair warriors, says definitely that the Zamoorin's army had no method of locomotion other than on foot.

    Out of curiosity, I ventured to check whether a good number of prominent sports persons from kerala were from the martial Nair community. Results have been negative. Let me know if I have been mistaken. I discount Sreeshanth, who having betrayed his country by match fixing, is someone the Nairs will not be proud of I'm sure.

  1. Maddy

    these are all theories, and no conclusions have been reached. Later on I wrote this article which gets into teh genetic theories.
    take a look - you will get some more theories...

  1. Ajay19


    My community (the Thiyyas) too have their delusions of grandeur, just like the Nairs have theirs. To propose that the caste name comes from a mountain in Kirghistan, is the height of the ludicrous. They off course point to the fair skinned among them (while ignoring the rest) as ample proof.

    In a similar way, equating heavily-armored, horse and chariot borne bowmen from the steppes of central Asia with the near-naked Nair swordsman (as shown by the picture on your page) is likely to lead to smirks and guffaws. There was neither horse, nor chariot, nor the bow, ever, in Kerala.

    The Nair community has produced little by way of sportsmen at the international level to justify their delusions of martial prowess. The true descendants of the Eastern Scythians, the Punjabis, continue to provide the major firepower in Indian sports. The Thiyyas, at the very least, have produced a PT Usha.

    Self-aggrandizement is a powerful drug, and all of us succumb to it at some point.

  1. vivek

    hi friends,
    nice to see the forum active again after a very long dormant period....I think the attempt to seek scythian and kirghiz origins by nairs and thiyyas respectively is part of the attempt to get an exotic element to their origins....being a descendant of the warlike scythians and the central asian kirghiz sets you apart from the rest i guess!!!...One should read : personality of kerala- by noted anthropologist a aiyappan...he feels the bulk of the malayalis ( excluding the scheduled tribes and the lowest castes are descendants of the neolithic farming inhabitants of kerala i.e a proto mediterranean group.So he feels nairs and thiyyas are descended from the same group,the scythian origin is surmised on the naga worship of the nairs as well as the postulate that nagas were scythians ( or partly scythian at least),so nair= naga=scythian.
    I dont think this is evidence enough.Certain forums in genetics and anthropology on the net also talk about "the scythian origin of nairs" based on haplogroup R1A1 etc,but they are not very strong facts,a lot of indian communities have R1A1.
    Mr Ajay brings to notice the attire of the nairs ,quite bare compared to the scythians as well as no chariot or horse,this is valid but I just thought albeit a bit wildly that the kerala terrain is just not for the horse and chariots ! and also being fully clad in armor in this humidity may not be a wise thing!.
    Anyway I feels he refers to the later scythian groups to whom the nairs may bear no affinty at all.
    Coming to the thiyyas yet again the evidence is based on tien shan maountains in kyrgystan,and the fair skin of some of the thiyyas...not really good evidence one has to admit!
    While admitting that physical anthropology has its drawbacks,I wish to bring attention to a book written by Fred FAWCETT- notes on the people of malabar...here he has anthropological measurements of almost all malabar communities-He also meaured nairs of different clans separately,I noticed that thiyyas fell within the nair range (i.e between Kiriyathil nairs and the vattakad nairs /oorali nairs).However Ezhavas appeared to be distinct to both nairs and thiyyas.
    aLso nairs do have sportsmen of some merit- erstwhile badminton player ( international)-Vimal Kumar,then davis cup tennis player of yore- sashi menon,delhi ranji trophy cricketer of yore- bhaskar pillai,arjun nair - malayali descent crickter plays for the australia under 19's,and karun nair is a promising indian crickter.Besides if my knowledge serves me right P T Usha is a Saliya and not a thiyya.I dont wish to bring too much of caste and community to sports because we are proud of them all when they do well!

  1. Ajay19

    Hi Vivek,

    My point was refuting the 'direct descent' theory and not long term (slow) migration - regarding Nairs and Scythians. The Scythians are not one group, but a diverse group od iranian-speaking people spread over a vast area of central asia (from western China to eastern Europe). Why would they migrate en-mass to a hot, humid, hilly place like kerala from their cold, dry, flat, grassy homelands.

    Kings usually 'import' mercenary soldiers from other lands for special purposes. For example I was reading about thailand recently. Apparently the king of 1700 AD kept a personal bodyguard (100 number) of well-paid foreign soldiers, because they would not switch loyalties to anyone else. Similarly Gadhafi of libya used to have a squad of russian women commandos as his personal bodyguard because he did not trust his own army people. In that sense again, saying that hundreds of thousands of Nairs have migrated en-mass from somewhere, because of their martial ability, is untenable.

    I read in sportstar magazine, a long time ago, about Usha and her coach Nambiar. It said Usha was thiyya.


  1. Maddy

    just keep in mind that migration is not an overnight event. considering the distances, this could have taken many hundreds of years. we know that the people of South India came from Africa to start with followed by many waves of migrations (and intermixing) from the north and the east, these events took place very slowly, aided by geographic and natural events such as famines, wars and so on, not to forget economic betterment. today we have and i say it for lack of a better word, we have a veritable masala in Kerala. to try and figure out the original ingredients and spices with just a lick, is futile.some groups tried to maintain a link with their past and so we notice their differences, that is all...

    i will get to this in more detail shortly...

  1. vivek

    hi maddy and ajay,
    the slow migration theory cannot be refuted ....in fact it could well have happened in both cases( nairs and thiyyas)!..
    I have found one more article on the PLOS website concerning nair genetics,will try to give a link shortly...also presently as i am staying in Kannur ditrict there are some interesting facts arising about nairs and other castes there,I will mention in a la.ter post

  1. Unknown

    Hai maddy, please have a look at this following pdf... It says Nair community is one of the few functional matriarchies in the world and speaks the
    Dravidian language with similarities to Celtic, Scythian, Berber and Basque
    societies.AUTISM is high in these matriarchial communities.

  1. Unknown

    Hai maddy pls have a look at the following pdf, it claims nairs are one of the few functional matriarchies in the world and speaks the
    Dravidian language with similarities to Celtic, Scythian, Berber and Basque
    societies.The autistic brain is comparable to the large sized Neanderthal brain.Autistic and matrilineal societies like Nair can be considered as fossilized remnants of the Neanderthal population.
    Intrestingly, SCYTHIANS were matrilineal and SNAKE WORSHIPING

  1. vivek

    hi maddy and everybody!...happy new year ( belated) this is the first post in this blog in 2017....one of the theories of nair origins is from the newars of nepal based on customs like matriarchy, architectural similarity,polyandry( in the past),however is it not possible that cultural diffusion occured from kerala to nepal rather than the other way round....
    This is because historically nanya deva- king of nepal had mercenary nair soldiers fight for him.
    nair soldiers were also associated with the vijayanagar empire,almost like outsourcing the kerala militia!

  1. jayan

    the study of nairs bit complex and confused as nobody knows who they are? where they come from,

    but seeing the acts they performed from time imemorial, like ruling the land protects people, fighting for the kingdom, we can assume that they are some what warrior clan, who lived on one side of western ghats(kerala) or migrated from other part (tamilnadu) of western ghats

    most probbbly they were the dravidain clan of south india ( cheras,chola ,paaalva and pandia kings) ,most likekly chera kings as the chera kings head quarter was kodungallur

    the association of nairs with naboothiris , the nair being fighting clan used to do lot of worship ,poojas before going for war, so the sanskrit learned namboothirs were hired for this purpose and given land and protection by chera kings

    namboothris ( all rig vedis,yajur vedis,sama vedis) later became advisers of kingdoms , and god fearing they created among non samsrikit people enbled nambootris to run their writs

    unlike north india where ksthriya and sudra were seperates , here in kerala kstria duties like ruling and figthing and sudra duties like agriculture performed by nairs only

    to make difference between ruling nair clan and ordinary fighting nairs( nair padayalees) ,some kind of sir name like varma and raja was given during oath taking ceremony( ariyittu varcha or hiranyagarbahm done by naboothiris)

    nairs took in their fold all other working class,hence we have classification like kiriyathil nair , vellutedathu nair,vilikkithala nairs etc as all these people performed function very much in need for the kingdom

    later as time passed, nairs who performed duties other than governing and figthing demoted as lower sudras

    nairs in all sense not a caste ,it is race in all accounts

  1. Ajay19

    Check out this article written in 1900 AD: Malabar and its Folk, by Gopal Panikkar, for a good authentic description of life in Kerala a 100 years ago.

    The author mentions that the article focuses mainly on the Nairs.


    I was surprised to note how erudite and articulate the author is, considering those colonial times. Great sense of humor too.

    His displeasure with the Nambudiris, their hocus-pocus and their oppression of the Nairs makes interesting reading. Check it out.

  1. vivek

    Hi Maddy and all!..just thought I would share an interesting piece of information on the nairs...this is from kasargod..It seems "

    In the north east part of Kerala, on the border with Karike District, Karnataka, there is a place called Kizhakke Kovilakam / Manjadukkam Kovilakam / Tulurvanath Kovilakam, the seat of Katoor Nairs. Katoor Nairs had adhikara over 64000 hectares of land covering from Karike to Odayanchal in the South. Katoor Nairs actually belong to the Ballal community of Sullia, who had to flee to Tulurvanam for fear of conversion to Jainism. The main seat of Kalari payattu, Munnayareeshwaran is the son of Katoor Kanna Ballal, an exponent of Tulunadan system of Kalari. Munnayareeshwaran is the Ketti kolam (Theyyam form) of Chandu Nair, who became a Deewan of Kizhakke Kovilakam under the rule of Katoor Nairs.

    Katoor Narayanan Nambiar was the last Managing trustee and ruler of Karike Tulunad, Manjandukkam Kovilakam Temple. Thereafter Katoor Thampan Nair, his eldest nephew is running the activities of Manjadukkam. Manjadukkam Kovilakam follows matrilineal system of transfer of succession."

    I was just looking up some information on theyyam,when I came across this.

  1. vivek

    By the way,
    there is an article about the"haplogroup diversity among Jats" by David Mahal,where among the studied groups the Nairs are found to have descended from 10 ancestral lines !
    Hence the aim to find out one group from which nairs could have descended is essentially futile!

  1. പ്രവീൺ

    Recently I came across two books published by the Institute of Languages, Kerala. They are entitled History: Straight from the Horses’ Mouth and its companion volume Nanchinadu: Harbinger of Rice and Plough Culture in the Ancient World.
    I am familiar with the author’s ( Dr V Sankaran Nair) earlier books on this theme written in Malayalam. Since then I was tracking his other writings. The present one is a continuation of these earlier books and the author concludes that the word nair originated from the Dravidian word for plough nangol.
    Asko Parpola who wrote several books on Indus valley speaks that this word was in currency in the Indus valley. The book History: Straight from the Horses’ Mouth which speaks that this word was in currency in the old homesteads, built in wood and found spread everywhere in Travancore. Gundert says that the word nangol in Tulu language is spelt as nair. In other Dravidian languages we find Naik, Naidu and Naicker, which must be the transliterated form of the word nangol.
    The author in Nanchinadu: Harbinger of Rice and Plough Culture in the Ancient World confirms that the word nair is a word spoken in Tulu for nangol (plough). The finding shows that the word nangol is an antique word and testifies that nairs were the early peasants who initiated rice cultivation in India and beyond.
    Even though these books were researched to find the cultivation of rice, it ended in finding the first man to wield a plough. The worship of deer horn found widely practiced in Travancore attests this claim, because nangol also means makayiram (Orion) star. It takes one to the age of Orion BC 3000, when the ploughing ceremony was held all over the rice regions on the day of heliacal rise of sun in Orion. A reading of these books is certain to give a new dimension to our discussion.

  1. vivek

    nice piece of information...praveen!

  1. Tejaswininimburia

    the earliest strain of paddy/rice is found in Himalayan foothills/Bihar around 15000BC and the method of cultivation was was as followed in Bengal before BRITISH changed the pattern flooding of rain water and during August to December followed by wheat. Hence NAIRS can claim belonging to BIHAR/HIMALYAN FOOTHILLS rather than as DRAVIDIANS

  1. Kman

    Thank you Praveen, Vivek and Tejaswini

  1. Ajay19

    Kman, Perhaps Tejas was being sarcastic :)

  1. Tejaswininimburia

    The whole INDIAN INDIAN HISTORICAL WORLD is wantonly belitting and suppressing the AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES of HIMALYAN FOOTHILSS OF BIHAR AND BENGAL. Why are the INDIAN HISTORIANS are shy of bringing the fact of agriculture practiced for 15000 years.In no other language but for SANSKRIT RICE HAS DIFFERENT TERMS--HALYA/THANDULA/AKSHADAetc., associated with rituals. The entire flora fauna originated in foothills of Himlayas somehot got planted in Western Ghats and it is indded sad to overlook the history of agriculture in foothills of Himlayas

  1. jayan

    Very nice to hear new dimension of origin of Nair's based on agriculture.indeed a known fact ,nairs were most related to agriculture and also fight and governing.

    Our famous historian MGS Narayan in his recent article throws much light on Nair's ,which is of interest and throws much light on Nair's .

    Mgs says Nair's not a caste ,it came as a profession later as caste ,So there were many people from different
    Castes took arms, got trained and became Nair's .

    Known fact Nair's have no unity becoz of divergent origin.

    The kodungallur temple, head qtrs of chera dynasty ,is the military head qtrs of Nair's , later it came as place of worship, due to brahmin way of Ritulas as brahmin s of four places , paravoor, erijalakuda, eiranulikulam and kodungallur was the advisers of chera kingdom. Nair's or the martial trained people , who all original inhabitants of Kerala like cherumar and pulyas. we can also nairs , the original inhabitants who got trained in warfare ,later years it came as caste.

    Later kerala history saw nairs kingdoms
    like samoothri and venad and bramin kingdom like kochi , cherthala, paravur, tried and fought for dominance with the help of dutch, Portuguese and brtish, and Nair kingdoms dominated thanks to their martial superiorty

    So Nair's or cheras not a caste , people drawn from different races and given traing in Martial arts to protect chera kingdom.

  1. vivek

    With due respect to shri M G S Narayanan, he is a great historian,but not an anthropologist or genetics expert....saying that nairs are descended from adivasis is a sweeping statement which has no anthropological/genetic basis...like i posted earlier a study concerning the genetic origins of the Jats ,has statistical data which shows nairs to be paternally having 10 different ancestral lines ,previous genetic studies have also shown great allelic diversity among the nairs..so jayans postulate of individuals of multiple races coming together to form a warrior caste i.e nairs holds good...

  1. jayan

    Mr Vivek, thanks for the comment.

    MGS Narayanan , historian I admire a lot and followed his articles with lot of curiosity. The article I Mentioned came in mathrubumi weekly dated April 9 2017. You all go through it ,good one .

    May be my translation might have erred bit. In his article he was articulating , Nair's like cherumar and pulyas,the original ancient inhabitants of this place and not intruders . some of them took arms got trained in martial arts.

    And he also went on explaining , nayan means leader of ten chekavars. And nayan became nair later and it was a profession not caste , and finally ended as caste.

    And coupled with my assumption, being Nair and seen many Nair games in close quarters , they have no unity and give much emphasis on self importance. And many wars they fought ended in failure Becoz of crossing sides .

    And your point of genetic , I do not have much knowledge. if genetic study such a scientific tool, we can easily find origins of all castes in kerala ,like eshavas, naboothiris etc. And never heard any historian using gentic study as tool like archelogy to find out origins of any race.

    All such genetic studies use some assumptions and calculatinos
    , which only they know , fail to get readers satisfaction .

    , I do not know indepth gentics study to trace out historical origin, u can throw much light on it. And am curious to read .

    Maddy sir expecting your comments as this article of you has ignited a spark , which sees endless comments .
    Thanks for the well done article

  1. Maddy

    Read this

  1. jayan

    Sure sir, thank you

  1. vivek

    dear mr jayan, thanks for the comment....you are right when you say that genetics is confusing!but in todays world it is the best tool to trace origins....for the paternal side at least nairs derive 49% at least( cumulatively from published studies from R1A1- the haplogroup of the indo -european speakers/ steppe folk.Also they have very rare haplogroups like haplogroup Q - hunnic haplogroup! also seen in siberia.I dont have much information of the maternal side...but I will find out!...hence it is difficult to say that we are the same as cheramars and pulayas...I will read the matrubhumi article,and try to understand!

  1. Menon

    Very sad to read this British left behind study and people still reading indo aryan stories ..

  1. Menon

    Also along with that. I don't think we have enough reasons to belive nairs are bunts or bunts are nairs. Maybe or maybe not. Nairs aren't definitely bunts. Bunts must have accepted our traditions in the northern region of kerala as in earlier times malabar religion spread till Gokarna of karnataka. Also I would say KM Panikkars theory best suits than syth or Central Asians. But we always like to say we are like invaders or fair like them. Like KM panikkar pointed out, MGS Narayanan himself being a nair concluded that nairs are pure South Indian, kerala tribe who mixed with Aryan brahmins. So many physical features of nairs got north Indian features are purely from namboodiris and the rest like the features of dark and flat nose and so on has munda tribes features. Munda tribes cousins are also our international cousins includes Cambodians... Vietnamese. Or basically munda.. Austro-asiatic tribe. Or race. You'll find the features in mnay nair houses including kiryathil families (where some claims these families came from North or somewhere. Are all false)

  1. HunâPrince

    I have a question , my mother's family comes from Kannur , specifically Payannur for some reason many of our family members in our clan have extremely Mongoloid looking eyes , including my aunt and my mother , my cousin's baby pictures , he looks so Chinese !! . it's extremely weird , can anyone please clarify the source of this genetic trait ???
    Is it from the Sakas or from the Hunas(hepathalites) who originated from the Xiongnu confederacy in Siberia/Mongolia ??

    My father's family who are from Southern Kerala do not have this eye phenotype, please help me figure this out .

  1. vivek

    hi...the mongoloid epicanthic fold is seen in many eurasian peoples( from where the scythians and huns originated) like tajiks ,kazakhs etc....but a genetic study would be a clincher..i recently read a book- ORIGIN OF NAIRS - by Balagopal Nair, unfortunately the author is no more!!... he talks about a scythian sarmatian origin of the nairs, with a great deal of conviction!...it is possible that some of the original nairs especially in northern malabar, preserve Eurasian features- mongoloid eyefold , I have seen a classmate of mine...a Jat with this mongolian epicanthic fold...and JATS would be of significant scythian/Hun ancestry!

  1. Ajay19

    Huna Prince, I had a junior in Kerala school, New Delhi. I really thought he was chinese or nepali. Many years later I saw him in Kannur (my hometown also) and was surprised to know he is mallu. It is well know that chinese traders came to all over south India. They had huge colonies in TN. I have seen chinese looking people in Nagercoil though with brown skin. Seeing that these mongoloid looks, though present, are very rare in kerala I think we should put them in the same category as cross-racial children.

  1. HunâPrince

    Yes but it is doubtful that these Chinese would've have added any genetic admixture to us because they were traders and outsiders who came by sea , there would be little to no reason why there would be arranged alliances with them . They may have mixed with the regular coastal people however who were not nobility .

    I believe this trait also predates them and probably came from Hunnic or Saka warriors who migrated downwards into Kerala and were hired as local mercenaries and then made into Kshatriyas by Namboothiries to ensure their loyalty for their protection and eventually these people mixed with the already pre-existing warrior clans through matrimony or conquest .

  1. Maddy

    Thanks Huna Prince..
    During the 14th and 15th centuries, there were a number of Chinese enclaves in Calicut, Cochin and Quilon. They all drifted off elsewhere in the 15th. But during this time, they did cohabit with local women, without doubt. I had covered this aspect in a few articles previously.


    During later period, closer to the first and second world war, large numbers of Malabar workers and supervisors lived and worked in Malaya, Burma and other locales, where many of them had local 'keeps' of Mongoloid descent. It is possible that children from such relations came back with the father, there are instances we hear about.

  1. HunâPrince

    Again while this is all true , I can say without a doubt we don't fall under this category of gene influx. Our ancestors came much much better earlier . As I have stated above only commoners mixed with the Chinese not nobility to which my family belongs .

  1. vivek

    I agree with Huna prince....the genes( eurasian ...i think would have to be from an earlier migration) .
    With due respect Maddy,I dont think fathers take their progeny from "keeps" with them!The children are with the mothers!.
    And like Huna Prince said, if at all this affected the nairs, it would have been limited to the lowest class of Nairs,....

  1. Maddy

    You misunderstood- some malayalees physically brought back children fathered in se asia, to kerala, leaving the mothers back in se asia

  1. vivek

    Hi Maddy, may be they did!....i find user Ajay's comment directed at me and Huna prince in rather bad taste!.....For the record i am doing a DNA study ( autosomal on Nairs, and other north malabar communities ) and from the results so far....most nairs have a steppe component( yamnaya samara in the region of 12-%) ....our moms defintely migrated out of Africa, and acquired mutations in the Levant/fertile crescent!....of course it is true nobody wants to be descended from the poor African....some Nairs do have miniscule west african genes!as do Bunts...but overall a large baloch component, ASI in the range of 45-49% , and as i mentioned yamnaya in the 13 percent range...
    instead of being armchair critics i would suggest that the users do what i did..painstakingingly collect cheek swabs , blood samples and send for analysis... and publish the results!( when ready).

  1. HunâPrince

    Of course I know all humans are from Africa 😂
    My dad's family is more of the Austronesian/Darvidian phenotype cause they're proper 100% southern Keralite. My mom's family isn't , so I've always been curious as a kid why it was so, they look different . It's not about self aggrandizement , I was merely just stating facts in that perspective.

  1. HunâPrince

    That's what I've been trying to say without coming off as a snobbish idiot. Chinese mixing was very very recent and very traceable , I'm pretty sure it wouldve been recorded somewhere if royal families or ruling families had encouraged such alliances .

  1. HunâPrince

    You're right but these are very modern occurrences barely 200-300 years , I was talking about a much much ancient migration. That's what Vivek meant as well . I'm trying to discern where those people came from.

  1. Ajay19

    Hey Vivek, my comment is general and not directed to you or anybody. It is a sad fact that Indians in general, of any caste, are not happy being Indians. A nation without pride will be conquered again, and again, and again ...

  1. vivek

    Hey Ajay,
    i wish to apologise for my harsh words!...of course we are indians))), I am a proud Indian, but the truth is except for the tribals all of us are migrants!

  1. Ajay19

    No worries Man! BTW, even the tribals are migrants. According to historians the first batch of Africans came to India in 70,000 BC.

    Thousands of years of Brahmanism, then 800 years of Muslim rule, then 200 years of European rule appears to have robbed us Indians of the least vestige of pride. We want to be anything but Indians.

    India was the richest nation on the planet for the longest period of time. Hopefully the coming generations will salvage some of that greatness and pride.

  1. vivek

    Amen to that!!!....THE WONDER THAT WAS AND IS INDIA)))

  1. HunâPrince

    Yes , as the is the same with any racially diverse nation . We are united by cultural ties that's what forms the basis of our national identity , not a racial one . Indians are not one 'race' and I do not people believe people trying to trace some part of themselves should be met with any sort of hostility or judgement. It has nothing to do with superiority or self aggrandizement again .
    Would you bash a North east Indian for saying some part of his ancestory comes from the Jungles of Cambodia ? Does that make him any less Indian ? Or an Anglo-Indian for saying his grandfathers side was from Portugal or England ?
    No , right ?

    Through many people come one . That's what India is and that's what being an Indian is all about.

  1. Ajay19

    HunaPrince, in what way are you racially diverse? Are you not a homo sapien? Do you have 3 kidneys, 4 nostrils, a tail, or a couple horns? Is your blood green? When you say 'racially diverse' you really mean three trivial things : skin color, eyes and hair.

    Self-aggrandizement is a basic trait of the human psyche. Nothing 'wrong' with it and all of us do it in various ways.

    Looking in the mirror you obviously feel you are 'not Indian looking' and are convinced you MUST be descended from some exotic, great, pure and noble race. Not only that, you want to be recognized as such by the public. This is basic self-aggrandizement.

  1. Maddy

    Pls cool off..this page is only about potential origins of nairs...Let's stick to the subject...

  1. jayan

    Maddy sir is wonderful and nice to note ,this article of yours still attracts good comments from spectrum of readers,some bit a fighting in nature .
    ,like nairs!!!

    Most of commentators I think ( jokingly !!) are nairs ,including me,the fighting nature surfaces at times!!

    Any way glad to read all comments.

    But still the riddle, the origin of nairs still not traced.

    During portugese rule in Kochi,they asked raja of Kochi to convert some people who fought for them as nairs,raja of Kochi declines saying that he has no right.

    So everybody in those time wanted to raise to that level means,at the time of kochi,samoothri and travacore rule,nairs played pivotal role,or we could say it was Nair rule all over.

    When the other castes who fought for foreign powers wanted to elevate as nairs, the nairs wanted to get sir names like Menon, kartha,kaimal,pillai,kurup panikker etc !!

    All the martial people of India of course ,rajputs,jats,,Reddy's,naidus,cherans,cholas ,pandians all may have same ancestary,

    Of course indian sub continent was a arena where all foreign powers like Chinese,Arabs,lastly portugese dutch,brtish french ,came for trading ,of course some of our genes got mixed ,

    It is also interesting to read kanipayyur shankaran nabootris observation on nairs, where he explained in clear terms,nairs are nagas who came with arya bramins to Kerala from sind during their voyage.

    The sarpakavu ( serpent sacred place) all nairs were having at his living placed pointed to this connection.

    Plus nairs were vegetarians,as serpents were to be treated with purity

    Also nagas were very much feared by dravidians.
    So the Arya bramins might have thought it is better to take their protection when they wanted to such a long voyage.

    Later nabootris made sambahadam( consensual sex) with the females of their protectors.

    As kanipayyur says most of Samantha kshrtiyas ( kochi sammothri,and venad) are cross product of nairs and nabootris.

    Any way wonderful and intriguing at the same time , the origin and story of nairs who are bunch of people , part and parcel of kerala history , killed and got killed ,.fought for power and fought against Intruders,

    Oh, what a wonderful community , what a history they created

    Hats off Maddy sir for your article and also well known commentators,who are all well read people,and whose inquisitive nature ,makes this article live

  1. vivek

    Kudos to Mr Jayan, for dousing the fire, with his humor)))....seriously it is difficult to dredge out a single source of origin for Nairs....also the north malabar group seems to be different from the central kerala/PALAKKAD lot, which in turn differs from the south kerala nairs...an contrary to Huna Prince's statement what we at anthrogenica.com( forum where members share genetic data) have found that the south kerala nairs seem to have more steppe ancestry than north malabar nairs...possibly greater nambudiri admixture!

  1. Ajay19

    Modern tech provides a quick and easy way to trace your ancestry (ancestry.com and several other sites). Simply spit into the tube they provide, put the stopper, and send it in. They'll trace your genetics back to about 10 generations and tell you what component of your genetic make up comes from which part of the world. As simple as that.

    You folks should try that and put your theories to the test.

    My report showed my genetics were wholly from India, including Pakistan and Afghanistan. I belong to the Thiyya community in Kannur. My father looked like the average keralite but my mother looks european. Even our punjabi neighbors in Delhi would say she looked like a foreigner. So I was thinking there must be euro component in my genetics. But no. Nothing beyond India.

    The report provides a link to other people who did the test and who may be related to you. I see many Indians of 4th, 5th and 6th cousins, some with Christian and Muslim names. Then a few in the 8th cousin range with european names.

    That set me calculating. The generation range is a simple power of 2.

    At the 8th generation (2 power 8) I have 256 ancestors. So what if one or two were european? The rest 250+ are Indian.

    Similarly, they say that in a 1000 years there are 30 generations. So by a thousand years back I have over a billion ancestors. Holy Crap!!

  1. jayan

    Thank you Vivek. As a curious reader of Maddy sir article and you all peoples comments ,.I thought I should intervene as it was going off line!!

    I eagerly wait all time for all of your comments , which was as history read makes my spectrum widen

    Any way healthy comments always makes interesting read

  1. Maddy

    Maybe this new revelation will interest you
    'Ghost' DNA In West Africans Complicates Story Of Human Origins

  1. Maddy


  1. chatachi

    v. sankaran nair
    my whatsapp number is 9446201267
    leave with me your whatsapp number. i shall send you my recent article in malayalam which have summed up my four books on the origin of rice.
    it traces the origin of the word nair, which may be of interest to you.

  1. vivek

    @Chatachi....thanks so much sir!...i will send u my whatsapp number shortly....i would also like to read your book-nellum sanskritiyum...

  1. Ajay19

    @Adarsh, please accept my sincere condolences. How disappointing. How can Scythian (Nair) DNA morph into plain old Indian genes? Tch, Tch.

  1. Maddy

    adarsh posted - the comment was inadvertently deleted

    Folks, interesting discussion. I am born to Kerala Pillai (Illathu Nair) parents from the erstwhile Travancore state. I recently got my 23 & Me results. My Y-DNA haplogroup (paternal) is a rare Q haplogroup (North-Central Asia / Siberia) and mt-DNA (maternal) is M haplogroup traces back to southern Himalayas. DNA is almost entirely Central & South Asian that maps to 40% Malayali subgroup in the US, 26% to Tamil Subgroup in the US, 14% South Indian Brahmin subgroup in the US, 5% to North Indian & Pakistan subgroup in the US, Broadly South Asian 9%, and Broadly Central & South Asian subgroup 6%.

  1. Maddy

    Guys - healthy arguments and counters are fine -no personal attacks or snide remarks,

  1. Unknown


  1. Satchidekam108

    Indians are the mix of first wave of Africans with Iranin tribes, Turko Mongols, Sino Tibetan Mongloids, colonials, Arabs etc. India is known as a mixing pot for a reason, a sambar soup of races. Castes like Nayars were formed from these already heavily mixed group of Indians.

  1. Suraj
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  1. Ajay19

    It looks like most people on this forum are not happy with the reflection they see in the mirror.

  1. Ajaykrishnan.R

    Lmao, i think i have hit a goldmine, for several reasons:
    1) theres a guy in here with the same username i had, so i had to use my full name instead
    2) its awesome to see such a long drawn out discussion which still does not appear to have attained full resolution

    Looking forward to read more of your comments

  1. Dr.Kanam Sankar Pillai MS DGO

    Greetings from Ponkunnam
    iwould like to read a blog by you abiut Vellalas
    with love
    drkanam@gmail com

  1. Maddy

    Hello Dr Pillai,
    I forgot to answer you,
    pls check this article of mine