Tuesday, July 24, 2012

North Kerala snaps of 1900 - 1930s .. part 1

Nobody from Keral;a would want to miss these photos taken almost a hundred years back of the people and the lifestyle and culture of North Kerala / malabar ..

These are photographs of North Kerala,(Malabar region ) taken by missionaries from Basel Mission around 1892 - 1930. The original title and year has been retained in most of the cases. Extra explanation has been given in some of the cases without losing the original meaning to add value to the photo.

All the people in these photos are no more living on planet earth, probably their first and second generations too have gone away. However, it is great to see the similarities in most of these activities with activities in the villages in Kerala these days.

Even though the average level of education and health of the people in these photos cannot be compared with the educational levels these days, due to increased access to educational institutions and health care presently, what is really surprising is that the people had the same level of enthusiasm, enterprise and enjoyed hardwork. The  earnings and freedoms were limited during those times, the political mileu weighing heavily against the Malayalai with subservience to the English / foreign masters hanging like the millstone tied to the neck ..!!

Enjoy these snaps and realise that we carry lot of lineage and cultural heritage from our ancestors and it is our duty to preserve them for posterity too - like a relay baton we transfer it from generation to generation !!

Accessed July 24, 2012.

A big thanks ..

Courtesy to Mathrubhumi newspaper for publishing these photographs which will be an ocean of information to the present generation to understand how their abcestors lived in kerala just a hundred years back, Thanks to Basel Mission Society for recording these photographs and South California Uty digital archives for preserving them .... (Permission obtained from Basel Mission for reproducing the photographs)

Archives mission 21 / Basel Mission: BMA QL-30.012.0018
Digital reproduction by the University of Southern California Digital Archive.

A farm snap .. 1921 
A boatsman taking people across the river .. 1921
A seminary snap ..
Rev Rense along with students, 1901.
Preparing thatched leaves from coconut palm leaves ..
ola medayal . 1921.
Getting ready to go to the sea .. Beachside shot .. 1892 ..
Horse cart, very prestigious ride .. 1901..
A Muslim family, 1901
A theeyya lady taking a daybath in the stream , chira.
Nair girl well dressed ..
Girl from the cheruma tribe .. 1930
Nair women .. 1914
Syrian Christian family ..1912
Mohammedans, 1914.
Malabar Nair lady 1914.
Muslim women covering their face and walking on the streets ..
An affluent North Kerala family ..
A Brahmin family .. 1902
Nair girls preparing for Thaalappoli .. 1914 ..
Malabar Christian ladies 1902 ..


  1. Hi, Iam a fine arts student. For my dissertation connected to the social circumstances and a particular artist, i needed a few photographs depicting the social evils in late 19th century and early 20th century. Some of the photographs covered in this post and the part 2 of north kerala snaps are very useful to me. If you allow me, may I download some of them for my studies? I didnt see your email address or contact info to contact you.

  2. Dear Mr. George Easaw: I would like to contribute a family photograph of 1904. What is your mail ID?


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