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Kerala,Keralachat,Malayalam,Malayalam Music,Keralam,India,KeralaVoiceChat,Kerala Map
Kerala,Keralachat,Malayalam,Malayalam Music,Keralam,India,KeralaVoiceChat,Kerala Map
Kerala,Keralachat,Malayalam,Malayalam Music,Keralam,India,KeralaVoiceChat,Kerala Map
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Search results for: Kerala History- Kerala Culture

1.  Monarchy was the political institution of the people with the patrilineal (Makkathayam) system of succession and inheritance.  Nothing is heard of the Nairs and their matrilinear system at this time though Chera kings used the names of the father and the mother with their own names.  The king was usually called ko or kon as in Ilango Aidgal.

2.  The queen had a privileged position, and she took her seat by the side of the king during religious ceremonies.  The widowed queens sometimes committed Sati (self-immolation).  There was no purdah-system for women; they enjoyed freedom of movement and right to full education. There were many women-poets during the Sangam Age, like Auvvaiyar (c. 500 A.D.)

3.  There was no child marriage; widow-marriage was permitted.  Clandestine (gandharva) marriages in which men and women took each other as hus-band and wife were popular.  Elopement was tolerated-  Sometimes the jilted lover committed suicide by fasting unto death after proclaiming his love publicly in the streets.  Monogamy was the norm-  The custom of bride-price was prevalent, as it still is among many hill tribes of Kerala.  Ta1ikettu (tying the Pepal-leaf-shaped marriage band) was unknown in the Sangam Age.  Polygamy among common people was frowned upon.

4.  The division of society into high and low castes as well as untouch-ability and unapproachability was unknown at that time.  Communities like the Panas, Kuravas, Parayas, and Vetas were held in honor by kings and were equals or even superior to the Brahmins.  The great poets Kapilar and Paranar belonged to the Pana community.  Poets and scholars enjoyed great prestige and patronage at royal courts.

5.  The warlike Cheras had naval forces besides the land-based armies; they used to build forts and dig moats for defense; they worshipped Kottavai as their war-goddess.  They commemorated the heroes fallen on the battlefield by erecting hero-stones (vira kal) on which the heroes' names and accomplishments were inscribed--a continuation of the custom of the megalithic Mundas.

6.  Rice was the standard food of the people along with meat and fish. There was no taboo against eating beef.  Alcoholic beverages--domestic liquors and foregin wines--were drunk both by the kings and their subjects including women who used to drink munnir, a sweet drink made from palmyra nut, tender coconut, and sugarcane. Rice-wine also was a popular drink.  In their eating and drinking habits, the Munda-Dravidian Cheras followed their ancient traditions, which Keralites still continue to follow in spite of Brahmin bans on beef and alcohol.

7. The majority of the Cheras were not Vedic or Brahminical Hindus though there were Aryan Brahmins at the royal courts.  Buddhism which originated among the Mundas in the North naturally continued its hold on the Munda-Dravidian Cheras.  Jainism also had many followers among the people.

8.  Agriculture was the main occupation of the people who were relatively prosperous except when the nations were at war.  Much of this pros-perity was due to trade with foreign nations like Rome.




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