Malayans belong to the tribal communities of Kerala
and are famous as Theyyam
dancers. They are the people of Mala (mountain) and are the custodians of the art of dancing. They were known by different names like Mavelon, Velan and Koppalan.
Malayans mainly engage in bamboo-cutting, fishing, manual labor and forest wealth collection.
Some Malayans belong to the Tulu area of the present South Karnataka.