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People, Customs, Ceremonies & Rituals



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.

Custom 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.


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