About Nairs - History
Nair, one of the prominent communities in the state of Kerala has an excellent history dated back to centuries. The name “Nair” is being recorded for the first time in the written history as early as in the 7th century A. D. In the copper plates regarding the awarding settlement right to Jewish and Christian settlers there are mentions about the Nair Chiefs ruling Eranadu, Valluvanadu and Venad.
However, the historians differ in their opinions about the origin of the name “Nair”. When some historians argue that the name came into exist as a corrupted form of the word “Nayakar” means the leaders, some others attribute the name to the serpentine worship being followed by Nairs. Nairs were the warriors in ancient Kerala, as are quite associated with serpentine worship too. Hence both the arguments have some logic and cannot consider any one of the as true and the other false.
Although Nair community follows the common Hindu tradition and customs, they have their own customs and practices too. Nairs have matrilineal heritage system where the right on properties etc will be inherited by the daughters from their mothers. The Nair community is quite often identified with Joint family system. The typical Tharavadu, the residential structures that houses huge joint families are the showcases of Kerala’s ancient architecture. There were Tharavadus accommodating as muych as 200 members also. However, the joint family system has come to an end with the origin of molecular families and many social scientists held this as a reason for many present day problems faced by the members of this community.
Serpentine worship and worship of various spirits (Vecharadhana) were quite common among Nairs. Each Tharavadu used to have distinguished place for the worship of Serpentine Gods (Naga) known as Sarppa kavu. These Sarppa Kavus were a miniature form of the local eco system with one or two tall trees, then bushes and creepers around it and a pond. Along with snakes, many small animals too used to live here. Later, most of the Kavus have been demolished to utilize the land for more profitable purposes, which, many environmentalists points as a reason for the changes in the climatic conditions of the state.
Nairs were quite often identified with “Kalari Payattu” the martial art of Kerala and many huge and famous Tharavadus used to have their own “Kalari” (School for learning Martial Art). Nairs were engaged in agriculture too. Thus the Nair community was playing an important role in the economic and security sectors of the state once.
Bharath Kesari, Sri. Mannathu Padmanabhan took initiative to unite the Nair community members under one umbrella and started Nair Seva Samajam in 1914. Later, the organization has been renamed as Nair Service Society and is Head Quartered at Changanasseri in Kottayam District.
In the contemporary world, Nair community enjoys immense influence in the socio cultural sectors in Kerala. In all the fields including politics, literature, arts, and cinema etc peoples belonging to Nair community has left their footprints and even now there are many such people who excel in their fields.
Our Society Members
Vice - President
Mr.V.S. ANIL KUMAR
Welcome to Our Nair Service Society