NAIR, s. Malayal. nayar; from the same Skt. origin as Naik. Name of the ruling caste in Malabar. [The Greek [Greek Text] naoura as a tract stood for the country of the Nairs. For their customs, see Logan, Malabar, i. 131.]

1510.—“The first class of Pagans in Calicut are called Brahmins. The second are Naeri, who are the same as the gentlefolks amongst us; and these are obliged to bear sword and shield or bows and lances.”— Varthema, pp. 141–142.

1516.—“These kings do not marry…only each has a mistress, a lady of great lineage and family, which is called nayre.”—Barbosa, 165.

1553.—“And as…the Gentiles of the place are very superstitious in dealing with people foreign to their blood, and chiefly those called Brammanes and Naires.”—Barros, Dec. I. liv. iv. cap. 7.

1563.—“…The Naires who are the Knights.”—Garcia.

1582.—“The Men of Warre which the King of Calicut and the other Kings have, are Nayres, which be all Gentlemen.”—Castañeda (by N. L.), f. 35b.

1644.—“We have much Christian people throughout his territory, not only the Christians of St. Thomas, who are the best soldiers that he (the King of Cochin) has, but also many other vassals who are converts to our Holy Catholic Faith, through the preaching of the Gospel, but none of these are Nayres, who are his fighting men, and his nobles or gentlemen.”—Bocarro, MS., f. 315.

1755.—“The king has disciplined a body of 10,000 Naires; the people of this denomination are by birth the Military tribe of the Malabar coast.”—Orme, i. 400.

1781.—“The soldiers preceded the Nairs or nobles of Malabar.”—Gibbon, ch. xlvii.

It may be added that Nayar was also the term used in Malabar for the mahout of an elephant; and the fact that Nayar and Nayaka are of the same origin may be considered with the etymology which we have given of Cornac (see Garcia, 85c).

NALKEE, s. Hind. nalki. A kind of litter formerly used by natives of rank; the word and thing are now obsolete. [It is still the name of the bride’s litter in Behar (Grierson, Bihar Peasant Life, 45).] The name was perhaps a factitious imitation of palki? [Platts suggests Skt. nalika, ‘a tube.’]

1789.—“A naleky is a paleky, either opened or covered, but it bears upon two bamboos, like a sedan in Europe, with this difference only, that the poles are carried by four or eight men, and upon the shoulders.” —Note by Tr. of Seir Mutaqherin, iii. 269.

[1844.—“This litter is called a ‘nalki.’ It is one of the three great insignia which the Mogul emperors of Delhi conferred upon independent princes of the first class, and could never be used by any person upon whom, or upon whose ancestors, they had not been so conferred. These were the nalki, the order of the Fish, and the fan of peacock’s feathers.”—Sleeman, Rambles, ed. V. A. Smith, i. 165.]

NAMBEADARIM, s. Malayal. nambiyadiri, nambiyattiri, a general, a prince. [See Logan, Malabar, i. 121.]

1503.—“Afterwards we were presented to the King called Nambiadora; who received us with no small gladness and kindness.”— Gior. da Empoli, in Ramusio, i. f. 146.

1552.—“This advice of the Nambeadarim was disapproved by the kings and lords.”— Castanheda; see also Transl. by N. L., 1582, f. 147.

1557.—“The Nambeadarim who is the principal governor.”—D’ Alboquerque, Hak. Soc. i. 9. The word is, by the translator, erroneously identified with Nambudiri (see NAMBOOREE), a Malabar Brahman.


“Entra em Cochim no thalamo secreto
Aonde Nambeoderá dorme quieto.”

Malaca Conquist. i. 50.

NAMBOOREE, Malayal. nambudiri, Tam. namburi; [Logan (Malabar, ii. Gloss. ccxi.) gives nambutiri, namburi, from Drav. nambuka, ‘to trust,’ tiri, Skt. sri, ‘blessed.’ The Madras Gloss. has Mal. nambu, ‘the Veda,’ othu, ‘to teach,’ tiri, ‘holy.’] A Brahman of Malabar. (See Logan, i. 118 seqq.].

1644.—“No more than any of his Nambures (among Christian converts) who are his padres, for you would hardly see any one of them become converted and baptized because of the punishment that the king has attached to that.”—Bocarro, MS., f. 313.

1727.—“The Nambouries are the first in both Capacities of Church and State, and some of them are Popes, being sovereign Princes in both.”—A. Hamilton, i. 312; [ed. 1744].

[1800.—“The Namburis eat no kind of animal food, and drink no spirituous liquors.”—Buchanan, Mysore, ii. 426.]

  By PanEris using Melati.

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