Nayar of India

sibly the most important feature of the Nayar community is their matrilineal mode of kinship, which is exceptionally unique and has been a well centered point of discussion for many acclaimed writers and authors for years. Thirdly, this paper attempts to look at the gender relations and equity. Due to the matrilineal mode of kinship, and the existence of Taravads (joint family system dominated by women), the inheritance of property and kinship is extremely diversified and showing that Nayar men have a tendency to support their sisters’ children than their wives’ children and Nayar women have separate residence to their husbands as the men usually live with their mothers or sisters. This feature of women liberalism and independence has made the Nayar women stronger financially than any other caste in India. Lastly, the paper concludes by through light on all the aspects and features of Nayar community in general.Nayar caste is one of the biggest castes in the southern part of India enriched with a diverse history and culture. It is not just a religion, a belief or name of a community but an amalgamation of different cultures and beliefs. Globally acknowledged due to their unique matrilineal way of kinship, the Nayars are often known as pride of southern India. They are sometimes mistaken as Kashatriyas, which is due to the Nayar women related to the Kashatriya men and bore their children and hence acquired this status but initially they were not part of the Kashatriyas. As this is beautifully explained by V. Balakrishnan (1982) as:‘In the pre-British period, Nairs were responsible for maintaining order. In the administration of the land also, they had a prominent place. The matrilineal system of inheritance helped to keep the land of the family intact. Also, marriage of the womenfolk of the family to kings, local Kashatriyas and powerful Nambudiris non-Malayali Brahmins, increased their power’.Though complicatedly related to Aryans and Malayalams due