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Abolition of Pulappedi

Pulappedi and Mannappedi

  • Mannapedi and Pulapedi, were customs by which men of the Pulaya and Mannan castes could ‘pollute’ women of higher castes(like Nairs), and make them their own.

  • If a man of a lower caste touch or throw something(like a stone or a stick) at a woman of higher birth, she would be declared as defiled.

  • Moreover, a man of a lower caste could see a Nair woman and shout ‘Njan Kande Kande’ (I saw, I saw) and appropriate this woman.

  • The man who polluted the woman would become her 'owner'.

  • This custom was prevalent only in the month of Karkidaka.

The Fate of the Polluted Woman

  • If a woman was ‘defiled’ by this custom, she would lose her original caste instantly.

  • She would be banished from the community and home.

  • Her two options were to either marry her ‘owner’ (the man who ‘spoiled’ her) or spend the rest of the life begging.

Abolition of Pulappedi and Mannappedi

  • These evil customs were abolished in Travancore in 1696 by the ruler 'Kerala Varma'.



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