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Moothans, the Vaishyas, very unique in their practicing customs and one of the widely distributed community of palakkad district of kerala state.
Moothans are socially forward class and popularly known in palakkad under caste names like Moothan ( The Base Caste) and Sub Caste like Guptan and similar castes like Mannadiar and Tharakan.
Malayalam Traces - Moothon – “The Elder One”, “The First One” - Moothan
Tamil Traces - Moothor,Moothorkal, Muthalvan – Means “The First One” – Moothar- Moothan
It is a well known fact that Gupta is a general business community title connected with Vaishyas of India. The Guptan (gupta) title is used as an identifier that distinguished moothans of valluvanadu region in its uniqueness from other social groups.
It has to be noted that old land documents of guptan's are personally titled and recorded as Moothans. In olden days it is a general say in palakkad that those who live in palakkad town are called palakkad moothans and for those who settled towards the west (Katampazhipuram) regions in general are called Padinjaattu moothans ( Moothans of the west).
The transition of moothans into guptans can be related to the cultural merging towards the locality, occupational and geographical difference once existed among our communities. Guptan title is generally accepted as the title by valluvandu region and later annexed as a caste identity ( Guptan,Gupta).
(Eg.It is a general practice seen from the history of kerala that, awarded or socially acquired titles were later carried forward as a caste identifier by the successive generations eg. Amsam Adikaari, Kannaku pillai, into pillai caste, Nairs honored with title Menavan, Menon into Menon, Few non-nairs are also given the title Menon, panicker, pillai based on the profession practiced etc. We can quote many examples from the history based on this).
Tharakan - Tharaku (a term for giving orders -generally used by Kings of Kerala) In our case it is placing or acquiring a business order - Generally those who conduct tharaku business(trading) is later addressed as Tharakans(Hindu)
Few Christian families were also found to be using this titles in the other districts of kerala. Many articles related with this points that this title is given as a reward by the then kings to those who conducted good and fair business...
- Bestowed titles or other honorifics (titles bestowed by kings, rajas, nawabs and other nobles before the British Raj (Wali, Rai, Rao, Tharakan, Panicker, Vallikappen, Moocken, etc.)
- Please refer link http://wapedia.mobi/en/Family_name?t=4.7.
Social Status - Forward Caste
Titles ( Mannattappan & Aandar)
Mannadiar title is also used by Moothans of palakkad and Koduvayoor . To address tharakans also the mannadiar title is used. In palakkad, moothans
are respectably called Mannattappan, Aandaar for males ,Mannattamma, Andaramma for females.
The usage of the Title Aandar is a mute pointer and relationship of moothans communities deep rooted faith towards Lord Muruga (called Aandavan, Aandar). Moothans kavadi pooja is the one of the unique festival celebrated in palakkad connected with Lord Muruga.
More references with the usage of the title Andaars
The hereditary trustee members of Vayilliam Kunnu Bagawathy Temple are recorded as from the below Tharavads.
1. MaanikaAndathu 2. AriyaAndathu 3. NambiyAndathu 4. KoothaAndathu
5. Ambalaathu and 6. Palappathu (Tharakans) (Thiruvazhiyode Region).
The blending of the title "Aandar," with the tharavad names are evident from the tharavadu names of katampazhipuram region.
House - Mannattu
"MANNATTU" is the
name generally used for calling houses of Moothans just like "ILLAMS"
and "MANAS" of Nampoothiris.
Mannatil tharavad of Koduvayoor is one of such example" where kethappa
is the tharavad name and Mannatil is the representation of House.
MANNAPATTIL,MANNATHAMKULANGARA, MANNATTIL, MANNAZHYIL were few other
tharavads that refer to this style of house name usage directly or
Mother Tongue - Malayalam.
Basic settlements as family groups and tharavads are spread across in the areas like Moothanthara – palakkad – kavilpad - olavakkode town circle,kalpathy,nelliserry,pallipuram,noorani agraharams, koduvayoor,mannathukavu, ethanoor,thenkurissi, kongad,paarassery, vadassery, pulapatta, katampazhipuram,alangad, punchapadam,mannampatta, mangalamkunnu, sreekrishnapuram, thiruvayzhiyode,vellinezhy, maangod, chethaloor, mannarkkad and very few families were found to be settled in Vyanad District
Indian States, Arabian Countries and far east and European Countries
Moothan Majority Areas
Palakkad , Moothanthara, chakkanthara,vadakkanthara circle and agraharams, thamarakulam,Jainmedu, kavilpad, kalpathy,nelliserry,pallipuram,noorani agraharams,
koduvayoor,mannathukavu, ethanoor,thenkurissi, kongad and so on
Majority Areas of palakkad
punchapadam,mannampatta, mangalamkunnu, sreekrishnapuram,
thiruvayzhiyode,vellinezhy, maangod, chethaloor, mannarkkad and very few
families were found to be settled in Vyanad District
Tharakan Majority Areas of palakkad
Palakkad Town, Akathethara, Kollengode,Karipode,Nenmaara, Thiruvazhiyode,Mangod
Mannadiar Majority Areas of Palakkad
Pallasena, Kollengode, Koduvayur, Chittoor
Palakkad Town & Koduvayoor Region
Modern markets throws open stiff and tough competitions. Moothans, still pocket the majority of business avenues spanning from vegetable– groceries - clothes– other hardwares-computers - traditional gold and silver jewelry shops, finance and trading business.
Palakkad vegetable market at valiya angadi, melamuri is one of the major attractions of moothan’s business circle. They also run many small scale industry units that produce food items and snacks. The very famous snacks varieties like palakkad bananna chips, jackfruit chips and Sweetened Banana chips are those tasty and nostalgic items that all palakkad peoples always carry as gift, to their friends and relatives spread across nation, while they move back away from their home town. Peoples of other states are well fond of these special items and a good part of it is exported.
Moothan’s business profession is transmitted in the form of inheritance and it is carried out in a well socially knitted pattern. This is one of the reasons for their success in the business arena. Needless to say, changes in the business scenarios has really challenged the traditional localized business setups of moothan’s. Educating the children to its highest level is the modern trend of the society. It is a very heartening sign that every year more and more professionals are born out from the community. Few were taking up the task of finding out new business setups or the revival of the existing ones. Rest of them is migrating to the areas of profession, widely traveling in India and far abroad. Even today few sticks to their traditional business with passion and pride – “The Vaishya pride”
Modern day bring the period of turmoil and fresh challenges ahead in the path of moothan, as a Vaishya, who follow the traditional local rules of business. Most of them are pushing themselves to meet the challenges to survive and betterment. It is a proud feeling that majority are capturing back their lost glamour in many modern employed professions.
Palakkad – valluvanad Region
When it comes to land and agriculture Guptans of Valluvanad region bags the most. From the historical times guptans are well known for their passion in Agricultural. Their product range includes vegetables - majority of rice cultivation, coconut, plantain, cattle farming , rubber plantations, pepper and so on.
Education is one the strongest assest of guptan(gupta) community that carried forward strongly from the past. From olden days well know in the areas of art, culture and even many are well versed in the language of Sanskrit. Guptans prefer the employed profession when compared to moothans of palakkad and koduvayur who mostly favor business as their profession. Majority of Guptans are employed in major govt. and private sectors. Community has a wide list of well known Doctors , Engineers ,Software professionals, Technicians, MBA ‘s, Teachers professors and so on
Propagation of agricultural and its support from government remain in papers as far as entire kerala is concerned. This is the reason why acres of guptan paddy fields are now lying barren and uncultivated. New generation are least interested in agriculture since social setups of kerala is fast changing. It is now a well known fact that lack of workmen to work in the paddy fields and high labor rates has almost killed the kerala agricultural sectors through out the state. It has to be noted here with proud, that this social trend has never pushed the guptan community down, rather more and more peoples are continuously moving into better education and employment avenues in India and abroad
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