The Nayars Today
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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