top of page
Commentary on
William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!

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.


Commentary                MMVol 1               MMVol 2

Book Profile

1. My aim

2. The information divide

3. The layout of the book

4. My own insertions

5. The first impressions about the contents

6. India and Indians

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

13. A digression to Thiyyas

14. Designing the background

15. Content of current-day populations

16. Nairs / Nayars

17. The Thiyya quandary

18. The terror that perched upon the Nayars

19. The entry of the Ezhavas

20. Exertions of the converted Christian Church

21. Ezhava-side interests

22. The takeover of Malabar

23. Keralolpathi

24. About the language Malayalam

25. Superstitions

26. Misconnecting with English

27. Feudal language

28. Claims to great antiquity

29. Piracy


31. Slavery

32. The Portuguese

33. The DUTCH

34. The French


36. Kottayam

37. Mappillas

38. Mappilla outrages against the Nayars and the Hindus

39. Mappilla outrage list

40. What is repulsive about the Muslims?

41. Hyder Ali

42. Sultan Tippu

43. Women

44. Laccadive Islands

45. Ali Raja

46. Kolathiri

47. Kadathanad

48. The Zamorin and other apparitions

49. The Jews


51. Hinduism

52. Christianity

53. Pestilence, famine etc.

54. British Malabar versus Travancore kingdom

55. Judicial

56. Revenue and administrative changes

57. Rajas

58. Forests

59. Henry Valentine Conolly

60. Miscellaneous notes

61. Culture of the land

62. The English efforts in developing the subcontinent

63. Famines

64. Oft-mentioned objections

65. Photos and pictures of the Colonial times

66. Payment for the Colonial deeds

67. Calculating the compensation

bottom of page