The Nayars Today

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CUP Archive, Dec 30, 1976 - Social Science - 173 pages
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The Nayars of Kerala, south-west India, unusually trace descent through the female line and, in the past, had a marriage system in which women were allowed several husbands simultaneously. This system has brought the Nayars continuing fame in anthropological circles. In this 1976 study, Dr Fuller analyses fieldwork data collected among Nayars in a village in southern Kerala, a region on which there is practically no modern anthropological information. In the final section of the book, Dr Fuller looks at the 'traditional' marriage system of the Nayars and offers some suggestions about its operation. He also discusses the collapse of the old joint-family system and, with the aid of his data from southern Kerala, proposes some arguments about the process of its disintegration. More fully than previous authors, he situates his analysis in its historical context throughout, as befits an account of a rapidly changing society.
  

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Contents

Introduction to the Nayars in Central Travancore
17
The Nayar Kinship System in Ramankara
51
The Nayar Marriage System in Ramankara
73
The Traditional Nayar Marriage System
99
The Disintegration of the Matrilineal Jointfamily System
123
Notes
151
Index
172
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About the author (1976)

Fuller is Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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