Malabar: A Name Rich in History and Culture
Malabar is a name that carries with it a rich history and cultural significance. From its exotic charm to its romantic associations, Malabar has been a key player in introducing Indian products such as pepper, sandalwood, and Calico cloth to the Western world. The name "Malabar" is thought to be a combination of two words: a Tamil-Malayalam word meaning "hill" and a Semitic word meaning "land."
In the 16th century, during the age of European expansion, the name of Malabar had come to refer specifically to the present-day territory of Kerala. The region was later named "British Malabar" by the English East India Company, which sought to distinguish it from the southern parts of Kerala that were under the rule of native dynasties. Today, the name "Malabar" is no longer a political or administrative unit, but it remains a source of cultural pride for the people of the region.
The Cultural Stamp of Malabar
The cultural impact of Malabar can still be seen today in the community life of the region, particularly in the traditional groups of Nayars, Nambudiris, Mappilas, Thiyyas, and Christians. These groups embody the cultural traditions of Malabar and provide a glimpse into the rich heritage of the area.
Though there is no longer a political or administrative unit called Malabar, the name remains a live factor in shaping the way of life of the people in the region. The cultural presence of Malabar is a source of great sentiment and pride, serving as a reminder of the region's rich history and cultural heritage.