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The Pulayar (also Pulaya, Pulayas, Holaya, Cherumar, Cheramar and Cheraman) were an untouchable caste 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.
According to the 2001 Census, the Pulayan population in Kerala was 1,041,540, being 3.27 per cent of the total population.
- Ayyankali (1863 - 1941), social reformer
- K. P. Vallon (1894 - 1940), social reformer
- Pampady John Joseph (1887-1940 ), social reformer
Arts of Pulayar caste:
- Moffatt, Michael (2015). An Untouchable Community in South India: Structure and Consensus. Princeton University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-40087-036-3.
- "PRIMAL ELEMENTS:THE ORAL TRADITION".
- "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".