Koyas are a subdivision of Malabar Muslims (Mappila). They are mostly concentrated in and around the Thekkepuram sector of the city of Kozhikode. They claim their descent from upper caste Hindus of Kerala such as Nairs as well as from the Arabs. During the Zamorin's rule, the Koya of Calicut held a position that was equivalent to that held by the Nair of Calicut. Koyas are also found on the islands of Lakshadweep as well as in other parts of South Malabar. Koyas make up more than half of the population in the Lakshadweep islands. [clarification needed]
Koyas formed most of the aristocratic Moplah population in South Malabar, while in North Malabar, a related ethnic group, the Keyis functioned as the major land owning and ruling class.[clarification needed] The Koya of Calicut was one of the most important military commanders within Zamorin's army and took part in the conquest of Valluvanad.[clarification needed].
- The production of cosmopolitanism among the Koyas of Kozhikode, Kerala
- Koyas of Calicut: a distinctive matrilineal social group (P. M. Shiyaali Koya, Professor of Sociology, retd, Zamorins Guruvayurappan College).
- Keyis of North Malabar (E. Ismail, Professor of History (retd.), Sir Syed College, Taliparamba).