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Maravar (also known as Maravan and Marava) are a Tamil community of the state of Tamil Nadu, southern India, and are one of the three branches of the Mukkulathor confederacy.

Members of the Maravar community often use the honorific title Thevar.[1][2][3]


The term Maravar has diverse proposed etymologies;[4] it may come simply from a Tamil word maravar (warrior),[5] or a term meaning "bravery/ruthlessness".[6]

More complex etymological legends include descent from Indra through a mortal woman, with the child hidden in a maravu idam (secret place). Alternately, legends derive it from marani (sin), for the Maravar's sin of killing without pity.[5]



  1. ^ Neill, Stephen (2004). A History of Christianity in India: The Beginnings to AD 1707. Cambridge University Press. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-52154-885-4. 
  2. ^ Hardgrave, Robert L. (1969). The Nadars of Tamilnad: The Political Culture of a Community in Change. University of California Press. p. 280. 
  3. ^ Pandian, Anand (2009). Crooked Stalks: Cultivating Virtue in South India. Duke University Press. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-82239-101-2. 
  4. ^ VenkatasubramanianIndia, T. K. (1986). Political Change and Agrarian Tradition in South India, C. 1600-1801: A Case Study. Mittal Publications. p. 49. 
  5. ^ a b Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (1903). The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Published for the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland by Trübner & Co. p. 57. 
  6. ^ Ramaswamy, Vijaya (2007). Historical dictionary of the Tamils. Scarecrow Press. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-8108-5379-9. Retrieved 21 September 2011.