Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Nayar Woman Today

Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Nayar Woman Today

Article excerpt

RENJINI, P.. NAYAR WOMAN TODAY. India Classical Publishing Company, 2002, 180pp., hardcover.

Renjini's Nayar Woman Today focuses on the changing status of Nayar women in the present context of Kerala.

The matrilineal Nayars due to their peculiar marriage customs and polyandrous unions have attracted scholars from around the world. In chapter one, the author captures the social structure of Kerala which was conducive to the matrilineal Nayars. She gives a detailed picture of the matrilineal family, the taravad, the role of the Karanavan (maternal uncle) and the patrilocal Namboodiris that had a close symbiotic relationship with the Nayars. She turns our attention to the changes that came in the eighteenth century. With the introduction of modern education followed by the enactments of legislations in favor of women led to the disintegration of the matrilineal system. The tarawad got partitioned and all the members had an equal right to inherit the property. All this led to structural and functional changes in the family. Monogamy became the rule and nuclear family started emerging. The fundamental thesis of the book examines the changing position of Nayar woman from the matrilineal to the patrilineal.

The author interviewed two groups of women who represented the period before the change (matrilineal) and after the change (patrilineal), respectively. …

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