Koya (Malabar)

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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 Kshatriya Nairs as well as from the Arabs.[citation needed] During the Zamorin's rule, the Koya of Calicut held a position that was equivalent to that held by the Nair of Calicut, Naval Commander of Zamorin known as "Sha Bander Koya". 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 olden days they followed maternal kinship ("Marumakathayam") same as Kerala Royals and Nairs .[1] [2][clarification needed]

Social status[edit]

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.[3][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.[4][clarification needed].


  1. ^ Koyas of Calicut :a distinctive matrilineal social group (P. M. Shiyaali Koya, Professor of Sociology, retd, Zamorins Guruvayurappan College
  2. ^ Sociology of gender: the challenge ... - Google Books
  3. ^ A handbook of Kerala - Google Books
  4. ^ Malabar manual - Google Books

Further reading[edit]