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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

The history of race-mixing in Malabar is of significant interest for our understanding of the pre-historic race-blending of Keralites.  Race-blend-ing was brought about by the open-door policy of the Malabar chieftains who brought the Chinese, the Egyptians, the Arabs, and the Europeans to mingle freely with the indigenous population.  The Zamorins of Calicut encouraged the Arabs and the Mukkuvan fisherfolk to mix together socially and sexually, and, as a result, a half-breed Musli'm. population grew up along the Calicut Coast. With the Nairs it has been a case of hypergamy to give their women to the immi-grant Aryan Nambutiri Brahmins who forced it on them.  As a result, physically, the Nairs became taller and light-skinned; culturally, they became very Brahminical in their Hindu beliefs and cults; economically, they became pros-perous.

The small town of Thankasserri near Quilon has a large number of Anglo-Indians and Portuguese Indians; the local women whom the Portuguese and British converted and married were mostly Ezhavas and Mukkuvans.  It has been pointed out that the Directors of the East India Company encouraged the marriage of local women to the soldiers because they found that the half-breeds were more reliable than the local people to serve the Company as soldiers, commercial agents, and political agents.  The half-breeds became Christians and received preferential treatment at the hands of the British administrators.  Such is the story of the Ezhava-English Anglo-Indians or the "white Tiyas" found chiefly in Tellicherry and Cannanore. This historical race-mixing experienced in Malabar during the past three hundred years is only a re-enactment of the pre-historic racial blending of Keralites between the Munda and Dravidian and between the resultant Munda-Dravidian and the Aryan.  The vast majority of Keralites carry three racial strains in their genetic make-up;  Munda, Dravidian, and Aryan.

Munda Race and Kerala People

The Munda people belong to the Australoid race and speak a family of languages called the Munda family:  Korku, Santali, Mundari, Kharia, Saora, Parengi, Gutob, Bonda, and Didey.  Today they live in the Chotanagpur geo-graphical region of Eastern India though once they occupied the whole of India, that is, before the arrival of Dravidians and Aryans.  A comparative study of Malayalam, the language of Keralites, and the Munda languages that I have done shows the presence of a large number of Munda words in Malayalam.  Physical and cultural anthropology shows significant similarities between Keralites and Mundas.  A comparative study of Munda and Kerala folklore suggests also numerous similarities.

According to tribal folk traditions, the people of Kerala originally came from the east of the western Gnats through gaps like Palghat, Thamarasserri, and Aramboli.  They were known then as Cheras (meaning "men").  Already by the time of Emperor Ashoka, they were settled down south of the Mauryan Empire. But the Cheras, according to their traditions, came from the Chotanagpur region where they lived among other Mundas and spoke Munda languages.  There is still a formerly Munda ethnic group southeast of Gorakhpur who are called "Cheras"; today these Cheras speak Indo-European languages as a result of large-scale assimilation with the Aryan immigrants.  Members of this Munda-Chera tribe gradually moved south to Tamil Nadu carrying with them their Munda language and megalith tradition. 

Having settled down in Tamil Nadu for hundreds of years since 500 B.C., they accepted Dravidian as their spoken language while retaining many Munda words in their speech which later came to be known as Malayalam.  During the political upheavals in the eastern plains among the Pandyas, Cholas, Pallavas, and Rashtrakutas, during the long period between the fourth and eighth century A.D., thousands of Cheras and related tribes fled west across the Western Ghats and settled down in different parts of Kerala.  It is these Munda-Chera immigrants who left most of the megaliths all along their travel route.  Thus, I notice a Munda substratum in the Malayalam language and a Munda streak in Keralites' racial features and cultural heritage.

 

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