Displayed at the Kerala History Museum, this tableau depicts the legendary heroes of “kalaris” (training schools) such as Aromal Chevakar and Unniarcha who are glorified in numerous ballads. From these Vadakkam Pattukal (Northern Ballads), we know that feudal Kerala was split up into a number of Nadus or principalities.

Chieftains or Naduvazhis earned incomes ranging from customs revenues to property taxes and had a role to play in settlement of disputes and so on. In the 16th and 17th centuries, this particular form of military combat was used to settle disputes between parties that were not satisfactorily settled in the local assemblies.

Here is a question for you.

This quiz has been created by the Heritage Lab and the Kerala History Museum.

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