Nambiar (Nair subcaste)

Nambiār, also known as Nambiyār, is an Indian caste who considered themselves to be both landlords and priestly in nature.[1] Nambiar is a sub-division of the Nair community. Traditionally the Nambiars were found north of Korapuzha, in current day Kannur, Kasaragod and Kozhikode districts of Kerala. The Nambiar clans were in different realms such as Samanthas, feudal lords, warlords and landlords.[2][3]

Until the early 20th century, Nambiar's in North Malabar held prejudice that they were superior to their counterparts in South Malabar. In earlier days, Nambiar women, like most women of Nair clans of north Malabar, would not marry Nair men of South Malabar.[4] Between the 16th and early 20th centuries, the Nambiar clans were landlords like the Kaimal, Pillai and Kartha castes of Travancore, the Nambiar caste had a royal status in the society. Many of them had their own army.[5]


  1. ^ Younger, Paul (1993). "Hindu-Christian Worship Settings in South India". In Coward, Harold (ed.). Hindu-Christian Dialogue: Perspectives and Encounters. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 192. ISBN 978-81-208-1158-4.
  2. ^ Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency (Volume XXI). Government Central Press. 1884.
  3. ^ C. J. Fuller, The Internal Structure of the Nayar Caste, Journal of Anthropological Research (1975), p. 285.
  4. ^ Miller, Eric J. (1955). "Village Structure in North Kerala". In Srinivas, M. N. (ed.). India's Villages. Bombay: Media Promoters & Publishers.
  5. ^ Kareem, C.K. (1973). Kerala under Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan. Paico publishing house. p. 136,137. Retrieved 18 December 2007.