Tharavad (pronunciation (help·info)) is a Malayalam word for ancestral home, usually used by Namboothiri,Thiyyar, Nair and Ambalavasi castes as the common house for the joint family system practised by people of Kerala, India. Tharavadi was also related to the matrilineal system of Marumakkathayam or Makkathayam (Patrilineal lineage) in Kerala which is similar to gotras. Hermann Gundert in his Malayalam—English dictionary published in 1872, lists tharavad as "ancestral residence of land-owners" and also as "a house, chiefly of noblemen". Contemporary usage of the word is more generic to all social classes.
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