Social structure was a spectrum of castes with varying degrees of status,
power and prestige.
Strange notions prevailed in Kerala about untouchability until a few decades
ago. Each caste group had rigid rules regarding the distances to be kept
from them by their inferiors in caste. The sight of an unseeable and the
touch of an untouchable caused pollution to the caste superiors. Pollutions
could be cast off only through ritual baths and other cleansing rites.
Sub-groups within the same caste had also barriers preventing them from
coming close to one another and dining together.
in the earlier days has its basis maryada (norm), margam (way) and acharam
(convention) determined by birth status. Brahmins were the purveyors of
customs. The other communities followed the custom religiously under regimes
controlled and abetted by Brahmins. Acharam turned to anacharam in course
of time there were sixty-four categories of anacharams in this region
which crippled its society's progress.