India | Kerala


Ezhavas are one of the oldest ethnic groups in Kerala and they follow the follow the teachings of Shri Narayana Guru.

They were traditionally connected with the growing and tapping of coconut trees. In the northern districts of Kerala, Ezhavas are known as Tiyyas. In the southern districts, they are known as Ezhavas and Chovas. They were treated as untouchables in the olden days.

The origin of the words Ezhava and Tiya is traced to Izham, an old name for Sri Lanka and Dweepan (Sanskrit), 'islander'. The word Chova has been derived from sevakan (servant.)

Today, Ezhavas are one of the fast improving communities in Kerala - economically, culturally and politically.

Updated on 27th January, 2015

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