William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
QUOTE: Another curious custom has come down from ancient times and is still flourishing, though the mutual confidence on which it relies for its proper effects shows signs of breaking down and is cited as a degeneracy of Malayali manners. Any one desirous of raising a considerable sum of money for some temporary purpose invites his friends to join him in what is called a kuri or lottery : END QUOTE.
In the above-quote, there does seem to be some confusion or discrepancy. There are two entirely different items in vogue in current-day Kerala. Of this, the item which seems to be connected to the antiquity of Travancore is something known as Chitty. It is also known as Kuri.
At the same time, there is another very popular social financial, sort-of-crowd-sourcing. This is part of the antiquity of Malabar. It is known as Panappayat.
However, the above quote seems to be something kind of mixing up these two items, possibly by the Travancore lobby which has had access to doctoring the inputs in this book. For the word Malayali is seen used. It is troubling. Because, there are two different population groups which are being conjoined using this word. The Travancore population has not yet connected to the Malabar population other than at the higher caste levels. Even at that level, there can be doubt as to whether the same caste names do refer to the same antique populations.
QUOTE: The Kuri was of three kinds : (1) Nelkkuri, where the shares were paid in paddy ; (2) Arikkuri, where the shares were paid in rice ; and (3) Panakkuri, where the shares were paid in money. END OF QUOTE
A bit of more detail about Kuris.
QUOTE: 1. KURI MUPPAN is the president of the society termed Changngatikkuri
2. The society has of late years fallen into disuse, partly because the European authorities have discouraged it among all public servants as liable to abuse END OF QUOTE.
Off course, when such financial dealing become part of the social rights of a native government officials, there would be misuse. It is great that the English administration did sense this, and prohibit among the ‘public servants’.
There is this thing also to be noted. Current-day Indian officials do not like the usage ‘public servant’. They find it a most foolish term. For, they are generally accepted as the ‘public master’ and not the ‘public servant’. They will not allow such deprecatory words defining them.
The usage ‘European authorities’ is utter nonsense. British-Malabar is not under any ‘European authorities’.
QUOTE: It is not, it appears, confined to people of the same caste, but the association was often composed of Nayers, Tiyars and Mappilas END OF QUOTE.
It is about the Changngatikkuri (may be panappayatt). The above statement might be about North Malabar.
QUOTE: the lower orders of the population, who even now take vengeance on the higher castes by stoning their houses at night and by various devices superstitiously set down to the action of evil spirits. END OF QUOTE.
It might be true that some kind of mischief must have been done by the lower castes. However, beyond that there might be no need to be judgemental about the powers of supernatural beings associated with the various Shamanistic rituals of North Malabar.
As to the attitude of the lower castes, there might naturally be many who might have felt that they have more claims to social rights than was being conceded to them.
QUOTE: Some of the agrestic slave caste had murdered a Nayar and mutilated the body, and on being asked why they had committed the murder, the details of which they freely confessed, they replied that if they ate of his flesh their sin would be removed. (Indian Antiquary, VIII, 88.) END OF QUOTE.
These were very rare occurrences. I personally do not think that cannibalism was a part of the culinary art in the subcontinent, as it was in the African continent.
1. My aim
5. The first impressions about the contents
7. An acute sense of not understanding
8. Entering a terrible social system
9. The doctoring and the manipulations
10. What was missed or unmentioned, or even fallaciously defined
12. Nairs / Nayars
16. Nairs / Nayars
18. The terror that perched upon the Nayars
20. Exertions of the converted Christian Church
24. About the language Malayalam
26. Misconnecting with English
27. Feudal language
30. CASTE SYSTEM
32. The Portuguese
33. The DUTCH
34. The French
35. The ENGLISH
38. Mappilla outrages against the Nayars and the Hindus
40. What is repulsive about the Muslims?
41. Hyder Ali
42. Sultan Tippu
45. Ali Raja
48. The Zamorin and other apparitions
49. The Jews
50. SOCIAL CUSTOMS
53. Pestilence, famine etc.
54. British Malabar versus Travancore kingdom
56. Revenue and administrative changes
59. Henry Valentine Conolly
60. Miscellaneous notes
61. Culture of the land
62. The English efforts in developing the subcontinent
64. Oft-mentioned objections
65. Photos and pictures of the Colonial times
66. Payment for the Colonial deeds
67. Calculating the compensation