The inhabitants of Lakshadweep
Islands are together known as Laccadive Mappilla. The word mappilla is a combination of two words - 'maha' (great) and 'pilla' (child). The early inhabitants of Lakshadweep islands came as Hindus. Inspired by the work of an Arab missionary, they converted to Islam
. They have maintained a matrilineal society in spite of their Islamic beliefs.