China Kuttiali Marakkar

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Chinna or China?

The exact identities of the various Marakkars have continued to confuse me throughout my Malabar studies. We all know Kunhali IV and his story, especially the  final stages when the Portuguese managed to capture and behead him, to ‘apparently’ bring an end to the line of Malabar corsairs and admirals of the Zamorin. But there is one Marakkar who has slipped the cracks as they say, in history books and got lost or miscast. He was the most notorious of the lot, perhaps the most powerful, yet he is mentioned only briefly. Why so? Let’s uncover his story.

Ottoman links to Medieval Calicut

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Pre Khilafat Turkiye Malabar Connections, ante 1919

Some years ago, I had touched on the connections between Malabar and Turkey in relation to the Khilafat movement of the 1920’s and how and why it all fizzled out, culminating with the terrible days of the 1921 uprising. But Ottoman Turkey did have a link with the muezzins of Calicut and the clergy at Ponnani even before all that. I may have touched on the subject while writing about the Fathul Mubeyin, but let’s now see how it all adds up.