Malai Arayan (alternatively Malaiyarayan, the word Malai Arayan means 'Monarch of the Hills') is a member of a tribal community in parts of Kottayam, Idukki and Pattanamtitta districts of Kerala state, southern India. They are listed (Central List No - 20) as part of Scheduled Tribes by the Government of India. Among the Scheduled Tribes, Malai Arayans out class all the other tribes in socio-economical and educational aspects. When an evaluation in the educational and employment prospect is taken, it will be found that almost all the Government Servants and other employees are coming from this faction of Scheduled Tribes.

Some of the Malai Arayans turned their religious belief from their centuries-old "Mala Daivangal" (renegades and traditional Hindus following the hereditary regulations and customs are included in this group) to Christianity, especially to Church of South India. Malai Arayans are opened to exploitation of their illiteracy and cultural uniqueness for centuries.Traditionally Malaarayans, have good moral values. Malaarayans usually practice agriculture, but most of them lost their farm land due to exploitation.

Ancestors of malaarayas used to workship natural forces and their traditional gods include Malamurthi, Azhamalamurthi, Thalaparamala, Kaali and Lord Ayyappan.

Traditional art forms include Ivarkali, Koladikali. Ivorkali tells the story of panchapandavas and is used to workship devi. The art form used to be performed in temple premises during night time.

This page was last edited on 6 September 2017, at 00:17 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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