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Ezhavas Families List :


Ezhava are also known as 'Ilavar'. Ilavar word comes from Villavar which means archers.   


As per the historians, Ezhavas were the soldiers of the tribe Villavar tribe. Villavar tribe founded the Chera kingdom. Villavar were warrior tribes and this tribe ruled most of the India.  This community has its origin in Kerala.


Ezhavas major occupation was agriculture, cultivation and liquor business. Few Ezhava were also into ayurveda and weaving. The warrior section within this community was known as Chekavar. This section was renowned in the art of Kalaripayattu.


Aivar kali: This art form is performed in the temples in Kerala depicting five Pandavas. Hence, this art form is also known as Pandavakarli.

Arjuna Nrtam:

The name of the art form means the dance of Arjuna. The performers wrap a garment made of peacock feathers while performing this art form. The performers also paint their faces green and wear headgears.


This dance form is a combination of Kalaripayattu and snake worship. There is a group of 8 people, paired up in twos who are entangled with each other and fight with sticks.


The performers gather around a lamp and perform eighteen different phases and rhythms. Each phase is known as niram. The performers are required to be good in kalaripayattu.


This is another popular dance form in Kerala. This is also known as Kaliyattam.

Social movements:

In 1902, a group of Ezhavas led by Padmanabhan Palpu formed a caste association called Sree Narayanana Dharma Paripalan Yogam (SNDP). This was the first caste association in that region. Sree Narayana Guru had established the ashram with the moto 'one caste, one religion, one god'. As a result of this campaign there was an upliftment of the Ezhava community in the education sector. By the year 1978 this small group had reached a membership of 60,000.

Current situation:

Today most of the people associate Ezhava community to SNDP. Hence, Ezhava means SNDP. Today Ezhava actively participate in all social and political movements.