Bound on the East by the Western Ghats and on the West by the Arabian Sea, clearly separated from the rest of Kerala by the Korapuzha, a perennial river, the Thiyya community of North Malabar developed its own distinctive life style and culture. The Thiyyas of North Malabar, like the Nairs followed a matrilineal society, this gave women dominance in their homes and indeed in society. The Thiyyas gradually took up Vedic forms of worship at temples. This change was influenced by Sri Narayana Gurudev who built three famous temples at Calicut, Tellicherry and Cannanore sowing the seeds of a major change in the Thiyya ethos, making them temple worshipers.

The tribal’s of the Malabar regions have been the earliest settlers of this region. They are experts in living off the land and have called the Western Ghats of Malabar home for centuries. In time their traditions mixed with the traditions of other casts like the Nairs. The two communities got so close that the indigenous tribal communities were handed over the responsibility to perform the Theyyam. These tribes included Malayar, Pana, Vannan and Velan.