Environs of the Palakkad Gap

Posted by Maddy Labels:

Part 1 – The Kavalappara family in history

While Malabar history books never fail to mention the usual suspects like the Zamorin’s and the Nediyirippu swaroopam, the Moplahs, the Marakars, the Perumbadappu Swaroopam Cochin royal family, the Kolathunadu rulers, the Palakkad Achans, the Ali raja’s, the Valluva Konathiris and so on, smaller but very influential families such as the Kavalppara are usually sidelined or barely mentioned in passing. If one were to cast a critical eye on the role of the Kavalappara Nair’s he or she would see that they had an important role in the final tabulations. Like for example the role of the Kavalapaara nairs in establishing the ascendancy of the Travancore raja’s such as the Marthanda Varma over Malabar during a critical phase, or various aspects of trade. Now to understand that to some extent, one must go back and study the details of the family and their role.

Many readers of Malabar history would have gleaned by now that much of the prosperity of the area was decided by the need of the people of the West who wanted to better their lifestyle and thence aided by the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the monsoon winds came to the source. The money came from across the seas…the goods and satisfaction came from the east. It may also be noted that whether it was rice from Bengal or Orissa, cotton from the Coromandel farmers, the pearls and gemstones from Tamil lands, or the spice from the Ghats and the hills, the Malabar nobility did little to further local production. They were the aristocracy ruling the trade and the traders and realizing the full advantage they had in controlling the ‘location’.

To understand this even better, one must look at a very popular word used in trade, communication and economy. The word is ‘hub’. Today importers have a hub, airlines have a hub, and multinationals have a manufacturing hub. Well, then again history students always knew about hubs. A hub is in simple terms a transfer point or the central part of a hub and spoke model. Thus Calicut was a hub for trade. Material, be it raw or finished goods reached here. Buyers and sellers congregated in the peaceful environment and conducted honest trade. Both made money and the aristocracy by mediating and providing the infrastructure, collected the cream which was roughly 20% of the proceeds of the final sale plus the ad hoc protection money (the nair pada’s kaval panam) levied on the easterly suppliers and some landowners. The go betweens were of a number of castes and nationalities, providing insurance and comfort for the far flung big wigs and lynch pins. For example the Chetty’s helped maintain a relationship with the major Tamil suppliers, the Chaliyas helped maintain a relationship with the cotton suppliers of the Coromandel and the Jews and Arabs stationed locally with the master traders of the Red Sea. As we see today, the hubs moved along from time to time for various political and weather related reasons (e.g. the Periyar floods ruining the Muziris port or the Moplah traders moving from Quilon to Cochin to Pantalayani due to harrasment). Quilon was a pre medieval hub, and then it was the Calicut region which in the 19th century shifted again to Cochin. For recent international hubs, one only needs to look at Dubai, Singapore as examples….

During all this activity between the early times and today, there is one location which was the main conduit for the passage of goods and people from the lands around South India to Malabar, Cochin and Travancore. It was the Palakkad region. It proved to be very important due to the topography of Kerala, protected from the East by the uninterrupted & heavily forested Western Ghats opening up just one ‘major’ pass around Palakkad. And for this very reason the rulers of the area profited. They controlled and protected the people and trade material that went back & forth through the inhospitable terrain over many centuries. As time and tide went by, these local rulers and chieftains held their own, using treaties and relationships with the rulers on either side, the Cochin Rajas to the South and the Zamorins to the North. The Valluvakonathiri’s, the Palakkad raja’s and the Kavalappara Nairs are these regional rulers. While the other two claimed royal lineage, how did the Kavalappara’s stand neck to neck? How powerful where they? So to find that out, we will cover the Kavalappara family in this essay.

The Kavalappara family

The Kavalappara Moopil Nayar or Karekkat Moothar lays claim to the area as a grant from the inimitable Cheraman perumal. The legend goes very much like the Zamorin’s, the departing Permual gives a sword and told the Nayar that the land he clears is his. The strong lad finally cleared the space between Ongallur hill and Kaniapuram canal and became the ‘adhipan’ of 18 desams, with the title karekkad moopil nayar. Thus the Kavalappara Swaroopam’s geographical limit stretched from Kaniyamburam canal in the east to Ongalloor in the west, Bharatappuzha in the south and Mundakkottukurussi in the north.

But the gift of approximate15 square miles of land around Shornur was not prime property. It was somewhat rocky, and the Nayar named it Kavalappara or false rock (I feel it could be Kavala ppara or rocky region at the cross roads). The kavalappara moopan had initially some 1000 nayar warriors (which later grew to 5000 at the height of his powers) aligned to him. This was I believe the main reason why the leaders of Travancore, Cochin and Calicut needed him, so also his control over the Palakkad gap and the main retail and wholesale open markets at Alathur and Vaniamkulam.

Interestingly, historian NM Nampoothiri points out - Circumstances clearly prove that the ruling family of Kavalappara belonged to a group of Migratory Saivites, their family deity is Siva, worshipped in Eruppa temple, west of Aryankaavu.

And so we go to Kavalppara (Historians have termed it Kavilppara, Caulparra or Cowlpara) a desam in the Karekkat Amsom of the Valluvanad taluk. The origins are said to be from the kulam (not pond but lineage) formed by Karalla atta or amma who was one of the 12 born to the Pulayai/parayi caste beauty and the Brahmin saint Varuchi (Refer Parayi petta pandirukulam – Aithihyamala). The family rose to fame in the area and held on to their reigns allied to either the Rajah of Palakkad or the Rajah of Cochin until the hostilities with the Zamorin starting around 1748. They have variously been mentioned as the naduvazhi’s under the suzerainty of the Palakkad Achan or the Cochin raja at different times and indirectly under the Zamorin at other times. Until they became enemies, the Kavalappara Nair stood to one side of the Zamorin in the ceremonial Mamankham festival. The complex relationship with the Zamorin’s rule is interesting, and to understand it a quick explanation is needed. The Kavalappara was earlier under the Valluva Konathiri whom he had defeated. Then the Zamorin used a policy of appeasing the feudatories of Vellaattiri and conferring upon them the areas they originally held under Vellaattiri. He was thus able to win over Dharmoth Panicker, Pulappatta Nair and Kavalappara Nair. That is how the Samoothiri became the master of Malappuram, Nilambur, Vallappanattukara and Manjeri as well as the Palakkad regions, which were under these feudal lords. The Eralpad (Samoothiri’s second in command) had the responsibility to rule over these lords as supreme commander over them, with Karimpuzha as his base.

At the peak of his glory, the Moopil Nair of Kavalappara lorded 96 villages from Muttangal to Thottungal and from Bharathappuzha River to Mandakkottukurasi near Shoranur (Chiramannur). The junior members in the Kavalappara family were known as Unni Elaya Nair and the female members were known as Nethiyar. The Palace of ‘Kavalapara Mooppil Nair’ is some 5 miles off Cheruthuruthy, in Kolapulli..

The Decline

Things changed after the Zamorin decided to wage war against the Palakkad achan and as we know, the Achan resorted to protection from the Hyder Ali of Mysore. As the Zamorins were besieged by the Mysore ruler, the Zamorin family as well as the Kavalappara family fled to Travancore. The wars and struggles went on and on till about 1760-61 when the Kavalppara family got back their independence with the support of the Travancore rulers who wanted access to the pepper & other resources in the region (for supply to the Dutch VOC). In 1762 they attacked the Zamorn’s army at Trichur allied with the Marthanda Varma. This was about the time, the Kavalppara family established a Kottaram in the lines of Travancore custom (and not as a kovilakom as the chief’s of Malabar did) in Kolapulli.

The Nayar then joined hands with the British in the war against the Mysore kings and following their victory was reinstated by the Dewan Kichu Pillai of Travancore as the lord of Kavalappara. Nevertheless, life was not to prove easy for them for the Cochin king claimed the Kavalappara territory. Finally in 1792, like many others he too signed an agreement with the English after getting his property assessed at around Rs 18000. The bickering continued with the Palakkad raja & Cochin kings till 1804 when finally a treaty was signed and a Malikhana was provided (Rs 1,000 per annum) if they all exhibited good & dutiful behavior to the British superiors.

For a long period of time the Moopil did not allow Muslims to settle in his area. It was only in the early 20th century that this changed and in 1950’s land was first allotted to one.

So as you can see, during various periods of history this family was either aligned to the Zamorin or the Cochin king, but finally figured that the Travancore kings were better allies, till of course the British established an agreement with him in exchange for Malikhana. Soon enough they, like the other lords landed in further arrears and by the end of the 19th century had gone under a court of wards. After the death of the head of the royal family, Karakkat Kumaran Raman Kochunni Mooppil Nair in 1964, the family estates were caught in dispute among the family members. The temple and the palace properties were thence managed by the receiver.

The Kavalppara Mooppil Nair has many feudal rights and also rights in conducting certain customs like “Smarthavicharam” and ‘Yagaraksha” of Brahmin communities. But they also produced well known artistes such as Kavalappara Narayanan Nair Asan who became a Kathakali exponent. Under the special powers accorded to him by the Zamorin of Calicut the, Kavalappara Nayar was entitled to sit and eat with the Brahmins.

The Kavalappara Elaya Nair was involved in trying to mediate between Mahatma Gandhi and the Zamorin over the entry of harijans into Hindu temples. He wrote a letter to the Zamorin in 1933, beseeching him to take notice of the changed times, people's mentality, and fast instances, and to find out some way to solve the problem of allowing temple entry to Harijans, at least for the sake of saving life of the greatest man of the world.

Some fanciful legends

As with all these big families, legends abound.

One goes thus - The origin of Kavalappara Swaroopam was at the Pallickal or Pallithodi near Shoranur. A courageous Nair youth who was an expert in martial arts established his rule within the earlier mentioned geographical limits using his intelligence and capabilities and with the help of 999 (Aayirathilonnukuravu) Nair army became the feudal ruler. In the beginning Mooppil Nair was loyal to Valluvakkonathiri but afterwards he shifted his loyalty to the Samoothiri. Due to some misunderstanding Samoothiri turned against Mooppil Nair. He defeated Kavalappara Nair and took away the badges of sword and buckles, the symbol of feudal rulers. It is said that a cunning young Nair went to Samoothiri’s Kovilakam in Calicut and cleverly took back the symbol of authority and took asylum of Venadu Raja. Afterwards he took the post of Ayyazhippada Nair and with the backing of Nair army maintained his power.

The forest area in the name of Anthimahakalan kotta was used for the stay and practice of Nair army of Kavalappara Mooppil Nair. It was for their use Anthimahakalan temple and a 3 ½ acre wide Anthimahakalan kulam (pond) was constructed. For the use of low castes the Moopil constructed Kollanchery pond. Aryan kavu, Anthimahakalan kavu, Kayiliad kavu are also temples related to Kavalappara.

It is said that at one time the Karekkad house was possessed by a ghost. This was the reason why the family established a Kottaram in Kolapulli and moved to the new location.

Another legend goes thus - It appears that the Cheraman perumal has a minister who was from the Tamil lands. His supporters were the Vellala chetties. All of them settled in Kavalappara. They conducted and coordinated the trade in the Alathur & Vaniyamkulam markets and were held in high esteem, the only people who wore their turbans, and retained them even when sitting in front of the Moopil nayar.

Some Rituals

The Aryankavu pooram is an annual event in the area. The vela at the Arayankavu lasts for 21 days, starting on Meenam 1.The first days are the trade fair, followed by the puppet play called Tholppavakkoothu (leather puppet play), which is a ritual art performed during the annual festivals in the Kaali temples of Palakkad district.

The theme of the play is based on the Kamba Ramayana, narrated in a diction that is a mixture of Malayalam and Tamil dialectical variations. The play covers the whole gamut of events from Lord Sree Rama's birth to his coronation as the King of Ayodhya. The shadow play is presented in the 'Koothumadam', a specially constructed oblong play house on the temple premises.

On the 21st day, they have the Nayaru pooram, when the Kavalappara Moopil nayar (in old times) arrives, wearing his ceremonial outfit, holding a sword and wearing the diamond bracelets. Thus he arrives for the nilapadu nilakkal on the specially made Thara or platform. Here he meets the small chiefs of the 18 desams and provides instructions and orders

The Kavalappara family conducted the ritual cornation of a sucessor, much like the Zamorin, titled the Aritittuvazhcha.
The family today

Some members of the family moved to Trichur. The Kavalappara lands are no longer lorded by them, and as the case files gather dust, their history continues to be a collection of vocal legends and stories, much like the rest of Malabar.

In summary, they were a very important family lording over a strategic location and lived by regulating and conduct of trade and transport of goods through the Palghat gap. As a smaller principality they aligned often with differing powers to maintain their status and position and held their sway until the 19th century after which, like the rest of feudal Malabar, disintegrated, leaving only temple rituals, memories, legends and a desolate and unused palace in their wake. Nevertheless, their historical remains are vast, critical, and paramount in understanding Malabar & its history.

Part two will deal with the related history of Vaniamkulam and effect of the higher castes on the traders and the indigenous people. It will for example show how a trading Jainist culture changed with time and invasion.


Kovilagankalum Kottarangalum – Murali
Modern Kerala: Studies in social and agrarian relations - K. K. N. Kurup
A comparative study of the tolpavakoothu and the wayang kulit shadow puppet theatre – Nyoman Sedana


Kavalappara Kottaram – CPUK Krishnan
To see clips of the Aryankavu pooram click here

Calico and its origins

Posted by Maddy Labels:

Some of you would remember weaving units north of Calicut in the Badagara area and Beypore, others may remember the textile trade mentioned in the 12th century Payyanur Pattu in North Malabar. These days you do find coarse crepe material from some remaining handloom units in Malabar but what is the real story of Calico? Did all the Calico exported to Europe get woven in Calicut? Or was it just an exporting center from historic times through its famous ports? Some of you may even believe that British renamed Kozhikode to Calicut due to the textile Calico.

And let us take a deeper look at the name Calico, was the place named after the cloth? Actually it was the other way around - Kozhikode became ‘colicoda’ to the Portuguese tongue and thence Calicut to the British lips. The cloth got its name from the place, not the other way around.

Greeks termed cotton ‘sindon’ from India – Sind. Indian cotton has been mentioned by Heordotus in 445BC, and later by Arraian in 2nd century AD as an article of commerce. It has also been established that the early weaving industry was concentrated in the Coromandel regions. So the route from those weaving units to Malabar would have been through the Malabar gap and any boats that circumvented the southern cape. I would assume that the various guilds were involved in these activities but more about all that later. Anyway the distances and terrain being long and difficult, it became necessary for relocation closer to the exporting ports and then again other reasons which we shall read about forced the weavers westwards.

So, in those early days, Arab traders took the material from Calicut to Red sea ports, where the cloth went by the usual routes to Alexandria and then to the European and Mediterranean shores. Europe used wool, leather and silk for dressing, cotton was not well known. But once it became popular with the ladies, there was no stopping the demand. After the EIC got entrenched in India the EIC had started Calico import from Calicut by1631 and this import went on to create the large mills in Manchester. Later the cheap factory manufactured cloth came back to Indian shores and virtually killed the handloom industry. By the 20th century fine Calico or muslin weaving had petered out though textile weaving was still practiced in villages for domestic consumption. Resurrected somewhat by the Basel Mission, the handloom industry as such continues at a less than steady pace these days, though the practice of children not following the traditional weaving practice meant diversification of the weaving community into other avenues and further decline of the industry.

How about the textile itself? What incidentally is calico cloth? Well, the unbleached coarse ‘Kora’ cotton exported from Calicut got termed as calico cloth. Where did the cotton come from? Presumably from the hot and dry Tamil areas through the Palakkad gap to the Northern Malabar villages. (Looking at some place names and you can probably come up with another hypothesis behind the names. Near Beypore, there existed a Chaliyar weaver’s colony. The river is now called Chaliyam River. Then there is the Kora Puzha near Elathur. Either the river got its name due to its vicinity to the weaver’s colony or vice versa. Kora cloth is Calico. Chaliyam puzha and chaliyar – kora puzha – kora cloth …)

The name Muslin comes from Masulipatanam and the material is same as Calico though sometimes considered a finer or sheerer variety. Muslin clothes were picked up by ancient Greeks from the East Indian port town Masulipatam, known as Maisolos and Masalia in ancient times and the name 'Muslin' originated from the name Maisolos. Muslin in US is Calico in Europe.

So it finally comes down to the weavers. Who were the weavers? They were migrants belonging to the Chaliya or Saliya communities from Tamil Nadu, Andhra or Kanara regions. Who brought them into Malabar? Was it persecution, trade & economy or choice? The first legend is that the Zamorin of Calicut invited the weavers. The second legend states that the Kolathiri Chirakkal Rajas of Kannur brought weaver families from the traditional weaving communities of Saliya from other regions and settled them in colonies. The third states that the weavers of Calicut migrated to the Kolathiri kingdom after being ousted from Calicut by the Mangat Achan. Why were they needed in Malabar? Did they stray in? While legend states that they strayed in during the 13th century after the left hand and right hand caste (read my blog on this subject to understand the details) agitations in Tamil Nadu (Then again it is stated that the Chaliyas of Malabar were either from Karnataka, Andhra or Tamil Nadu – real origins unknown), It could have been due to the desire of these rich families to wear fine cloth that they had seen immigrant Brahmins or visitors wearing at temple occasions and their subsequent monetary proposals.

Nevertheless any settlement of foreign people in Malabar required the supported of the ruling class. So it is safe to assume that the Zamorin of Calicut (Much later the raja of Travancore followed suit and settled a number of families in Balaramapuram) and the Kolathiri’s invited them to stay and follow their trade. Interestingly the immigrant Saliyas adopted the customs of the chosen land and stayed for good. With that started the advent of weaving in Malabar.

The Saliyas or Chaliyas - Quoting Thruston’s castes & Tribes (and F Fawcett)

In dress and manners they resemble the artisan castes of Malabar, but, like the Pattar Brahmins, they live in streets, which fact probably points to their being comparatively recent settlers from the east coast. They do not wear the sacred thread, as the Sale weavers of the east coast do. This is the only Malabar caste which has anything to do with the right and left-hand faction disputes, and both divisions are represented in it, the left hand being considered the superior. Apparently, therefore, it settled in Malabar some time after the beginnings of this dispute on the east coast, that is, after the eleventh century A. D. Some of them follow the marumakkatayam and others the makkatayam law of inheritance, which looks as if the former were earlier settlers than the latter."

It is said that they were originally of a high caste, and were imported by one of the Zamorins, who wished to introduce the worship of Ganapathi, to which they are much addicted. The latter's minister, the Mangatt acchan, who was entrusted with the entertainment of the new arrivals, and was nettled by their fastidiousness and constant complaints about his catering, managed to degrade them in a body by trick of secretly mixing fish with their food.

They do not, like their counterparts on the east coast, wear the thread; but it is noticeable that their priests, who belong to their own caste, wear it over the right shoulder instead of over the left like the Brahman's punul, when performing certain pujas (worship). In some parts, the place of the regular punul is taken by a red scarf or sash worn in the same manner. They are remarkable for being the only caste in Malabar amongst whom any trace of the familiar east coast division into right-hand and left-hand factions is to be found. They are so divided; and those belonging to the right-hand faction deem themselves polluted by the touch of those belonging to the left-hand sect, which is numerically very weak.

Chaliya legends

According to Saliya folklore the community members had a privileged place at the Samuthiri's palace owing to their Brahminhood. But this was not appreciated by Mangnatachhan (a title of minister in Kozhikode region, generally, a Menon). He plotted a plan to degrade Saliyas in the eyes of king. He mixed fish in their food. Saliyas unaware of this duplicity ate the food. The king came to know that Saliyas had non-vegetarian food and in anger he removed their sacred thread and expelled them from the kingdom. It should be noted here that another myth for being barred from Sastha temple entry in Kasargoad also alludes to an event with one of them being caught eating fish unknowingly. Note here that in Malabar we have mostly the Balanga or Valagai (right handed) saliyas. Ganapathi worship also came to Malabar with the Chaliyas

After being expelled from the kingdom of Zamorin, Saliyas took refuge with Kolathiri kings. One day some of the community members killed the king's favorite dog which had interfered with their work. The angry king ordered them to create a golden dog that would eat rice balls from his hand, or else he would destroy all their Teruvus. By invoking their community god, the Saliyas created a golden dog. When king tried to feed it, the dog bit his hand. As it goes, the king got further agitated and expelled the whole community from his palace.

But the legend is silent on where they went, for they did not and stayed on in different parts of Malabar. If one were to look for an explanation, it could be related to the Edanga Saliyars. In the beginning both communities were present in Malabar. The Right-Hand castes and Left-Hand Castes were two opposing groups. In one such fight between Edangas and Balangas, Edanga Saliyas were beaten and driven out of Kannur. The beaten Edangas were forced to live in the areas of Kasaragod and Mangalore while the Balanga’s remained in Cannanore Chirakkal and Calicut.

Other legends abound - Edanga Saliyas do not have surnames. Like many of the declared lower castes in India, they too have their myth of origin ascribing them to higher caste roots. According to this myth Saliyas were of Brahmin origin. At some point of time, they struggled to survive performing only Brahmanical rituals. Since manual labor was forbidden for Brahmins, the only way left was becoming shudras. They removed their sacred thread and tied it onto the spinning wheel thus symbolically ending their Brahmanism and commencing their life as weavers.

Another states - As they were excommunicated from the Coromandel, they started mass suicide. Shiva prevented the last Chaliyan from committing suicide and gave the life-breath back to those who committed suicide. Then ‘Siva’ asked “Haven’t you seen spider weaving its web? Weave fabrics like that and thus started the origin of the fabrics that we are talking about.

In Kerala, Salis or Chaliyans belonging to Balanga (Right Hand caste) division worship Vinayaka as their main deity whereas Chaliyans belonging to Edanga (Left hand caste) are primarily goddess worshippers. The spider story mentioned above lends credence to the etymology of the name - The common derivations in the literature is from Sanskrit word Jalika meaning spider or weaver or Prakrit/Tadbhava word Saliga meaning the same.

The early days of the weaving industry
The chaliyas primarily wove for their community and for the rich folk in the areas they inhabited. It can be assumed that they sourced their cotton from the neighboring areas in Tamilnadu & Andhra. Nevertheless they wove the white cloth used for the vastra worn by the noble classes of Malabar. It was uncommon to find colored cloth in Malabar as everybody men and women alike wore only white, the women possibly having borders on their clothes of color. However it is likely that the Brahmin and chetty women demanded colored cloth with prints. This was all woven and printed by the wonted Calico printing technique

With the advent of the Europeans, plain and colored cloth was exported in larger quantities and the knowledge of calico printing the Chaliyars possessed was quickly learnt and passed on to factories in Europe.
It is reported that, in former days, the original Saliyans (of Tamil Nadu) were not allowed to sell their goods except in a fixed spot called ‘mamarathumedu’, where they set out their cloths on bamboos. During this 11th century migration, many of them also moved further to the kingdom in Ceylon and became known as Salgama’s.In Kannancherry we have the "Chaliya Therivu", located near the town's famous Vinayaka temple. The temple's patrons are the Chaliyas of Kannancherry.Methods of whitening of Calico and muslin with lemon water for example was picked up from the Chaliya techniques.

KN Ganesh in his study suggests another reason for the decline - Calicut was becoming famous for its export of calico and we have seen the establishment of the Saliya therus in Neduva, but the British were no longer interested in clothes being brought to Calicut as they could be procured directly from Tamil Nadu, and the saliya therus began to decline. The Chettiars who traded in cloth became petty traders who met the needs of local consumption

As cotton consumption in Europe and particularly Britain started to increase, the Portuguese had started cotton farming in Brazil. It then resulted in the transfer of a number of slaves from India to Brazil where cotton was cultivated by the Portuguese (Bulletin of the Pan American Union, Volume 45 - By Pan American Union, Union of American Republics)

By the early eighteenth century, worried by the popularity of Indian textiles, wool and silk makers in England began protesting against the import of Indian cotton textiles. In 1720, the British government enacted a legislation banning the use of printed cotton textiles ‘chintz’ in England. Interestingly, this Act was known as the Calico Act. Chintz incidentally was a name for Calico by the Dutch VOC.

Mechanization came, and the Basel mission soon started a steam weaving mill 1883 with a capacity of 500-600 tones of cotton yarn. The Augsberg printers that we mentioned in an earlier blog Savages of Calicut became experts at calico printing. The Manchester mills perfected it. The famed Malabar pit loom was at its last legs by now. The industry that shot to fame from the pits in the small houses on the street had outlived its purpose. Large machines took over.

So we see how trade related migration stemming from persecution moved the saliyas who were born close to cotton cultivation moved first from Andhra to Tamil lands, and then probably to Malabar. It could have been a direct transition from Andhra to Kanara and thence to Malabar, but the origins are a bit murky. The causes and reasons are clouded by legends and religion, but then such is the tale of most communities of India. Eventually, the weavers migrated again, not in location, but to other professions. The name ‘Calico’ however remains, probably trademarked by some multinational, proudly connecting for time immemorial, at least the textile to the Chaliya weavers of Malabar and the place that shot it to fame, Calicut.

Traditional handloom industry in Kerala – KKN Kurup
Padmashali weavers
The story of textiles: a bird's-eye view - Perry Walton
Mercantilism and the East India trade - Parakunnel Joseph Thomas
The Great industries of the United States - Horace Greeley
Castes and tribes of Southern India, Volume 1 - Edgar Thurston, K. Rangachari
Socio-cultural Processes and Livelihood Patterns at Tirurangadi- KN Ganesh

Saliya weaver from Padmashali’s notes