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Kurup was an occupational title in the state of Kerala in India. This was an honorific title, particularly in the older days, that had been conferred by the kings of the local provinces,to persons from several communities with excellence in performance of certain occupational functions related with martial art, funeral rites etc. It was a common practice for families of such a person, to hold that title as a hereditary right and to effect a trans generational pass over.[citation needed]

The title, Kurup was used by certain families who were assigned to have higher social status of that of naduvazhi among Nair community and were assigned with sectoral supervision over military groups .Likewise,some others were employed as supervisors in temples and pagodas. In the past centuries, some members of Kaniyar families in north Malabar had held the honorific title Nambi Kurup. kaniyar Panicker of south malabar and Kochi region of ancient kerala, who were the preceptors of martial art Kalaripayattu has a sub sect known by the name"Kalari kurup". Pothuvan Kurup, Kani Kurup or Kurup was a title of members of another section of this community in central Travancore, who were barbers and funeral rite performers of proper sect of Ganaka.Panicker and Kurup are also used as surnames by the Maarans of Central and South Travancore. A sect of artisan community who had the past traditions of occupational function as bow making and performance of funeral rites also known by the name VillKurup.[citation needed]

Notable members[edit]


  1. ^ Charithram Kuricha Sree Padmanabha Swamy Kshethram by Dr MG Sasibhooshan and Dr RP Raja