Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Tuluva-Malayali Matrilineal System - notes

What led to the End of Kerala's Matrilineal System

The article misses many points. The system was followed by most of the castes in Malabar and in coastal Karnataka region(including Muslims). According to anthropologist M N Srinivas, even Kodava society was believed to be matrilineal once upon a time. Therefore, theories of origin should go beyond Nairs. The 'Sambandham' wasn't observed among Tulu matrilineal castes of coastal Karnataka. Instead of considering the practice as a salient feature of the matrilineal system, it should be considered as a unique feature of Malayali region.

It should be noted here that Brahmins(Namboodiris) weren't matrilineal. Therefore, the point of view of the Sambandham changes within the Malayali society itself.  It shows the unquestionable grip Brahmins had over the society. Indulekha could be a flawed a story, however, it still rebels against a patriarchal overlordship. In fact, all the ideal picture given here about women having all the rights for rejecting suitors, the reality of older men of higher castes having their way with much younger women wasn't uncommon. We cannot forget the fact that there was always a caste hierarchy in that society.

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