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The Pulayar (also Pulaya, Pulayas, Cherumar, Cheramar and Cheraman) were an untouchable caste[1] in Hinduism, forming one of the main social groups in modern-day Kerala and Karnataka as well as in historical Tamil Nadu or Tamilakam.


Pulayars are noted for their music, craftsmanship, and for certain dances which include Kōlam-thullal, a mask dance which is part of their exorcism rituals, as well as the Mudi-āttam or hair-dance which has its origins in a fertility ritual.[2][3][4]


According to the 2011 Census, the Pulayan population in Kerala was 1,338,008.[5] They are a Scheduled Caste under India's reservation system in that state[6] and in Tamil Nadu.[7]

Notable people

See also

Arts of Pulayar caste:


  1. ^ Moffatt, Michael (2015). An Untouchable Community in South India: Structure and Consensus. Princeton University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-40087-036-3.
  3. ^ "Early Evidence for Caste in South India, p. 467-492 in Dimensions of Social Life: Essays in honor of David G. Mandelbaum, Edited by Paul Hockings and Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, New York, Amsterdam, 1987". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Census of India Website : Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India". Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  6. ^ "List of Scheduled Castes in the Kerala State". Kerala Public Service Commission, State Government of Kerala. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Tamil Nadu". Ministry of Social Justice. 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2020.