Commentary on
William Logan’s ‘Malabar Manual’


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.