Chera was a Tamil dynasty that mostly ruled present day Kerala and western Tamil Nadu region. Anthropologists have identified the capital Vanchi/Karur both in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Many mainstream Malayali anthropologists have claimed indegenous Kerala origins to Chera-s.
But I have speculated that Chera-s are Tamil imperialists. Ravi (at Tulu Research) commented that Bali is reverred by Munda tribes too. He pointed me to Zacharias Thundy's article.
I have read Zacharias Thundy's articles before. Unfortunately, he is a 'well intentioned' folklorist. Still, I can use the facts about Bali legend among Munda-s. Incidentally, Asur is a Munda tribe.
In my opinion, Chera-s were basically a Munda tribe who became ruling elites with Brahmins as administrators. There is one more parallel with Chera, Munda and Brahmins.
According to Brahmin mythology (Kerala Mahatmya in Kerala Grama Paddhati in Tulu Nadu) of western coastal region, the land of Kerala (also Tulu region) was reclaimed from the sea by a Brahmin warrior called Parashurama. This land was later given to Brahmins.
This Parashurama legend has its origins in another legend. The poet Paranar who wrote 4th decad of Patittupattu credited his king Vel Kelu Kuttavan of Chera dynasty a great feat of driving away sea with his spear.
However, this legend is present in Munda folklores according to Zacharias Thundy.
Are Malayalis the descendants of Munda-s as Zacharias Thundy claims? By population genetics and by linguistics, no. Obviously, Malayalis belong to Dravidian language family whereas Munda-s are Austro-Asiatics. By population genetics Munda-s are overwhelmingly Y-Haplogroup O2a which is almost non-existent in south India.
That does not rule out the possibility that Malayali-s had (Proto)Tamilized Munda ruling families.
I believe Central and Eastern India's tribal regions experienced great political ascendancy around 2500 years ago. Probably, native tribes started ruling the area-s and were later "legitimized" and Sanskritized by Brahmins. Many of these ruling families later might have migrated to south and west India and started ruling.
Curiously, it has been claimed that both Chera and Satavahana though patrilineal sported both patronymics and metronymics in their names. Probably, it was a hark back on to thier matrilineal tribal past(probably Munda-s).
A Survey of Kerala History by A Sreedhara Menon