Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Photos of North Kerala 1900 - 1930s, part II.

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 !!

Click here for Part I of the snaps ..

Ploughing the fields, 1901 ..
A north Malabar street 1921 ..
Carpenters 1914 ..
Malabar women pounding paddy ..
Kitchen crew grinding, pounding grain and cutting wood for the fire ..1902
Sunday School in a Christian church ..
A farmer ploughing land, 1902 ..
Goldsmiths/firesmiths, kollanmaar ..
Kitchen crew in an affluent family, 1914 ..
Fishermen at sunset, Malabar coast ..
Thatching happening in a coconut grove .. 1901
A poor casual labourer 1921
Manalilezhuthu, teaching young kids the letters of Malayalam language on sand ..1902
Posing in a school, Pallikkoodam 1914..
A full blown Theyyam dancer, 1901 ..
Potters trading their ware at the potter market ..1914 ..
Devotees going with offerings to Kannadiparambu temple, 1914 ..
A patient 1901 ..
A patient with manthu rogam, elephantiasis in Calicut Mission Hospital, 1902 ..
Afternoon lunch 1914 ..
coconut palm climbers ..1914
Malabar girl with earrings, kaathilola 1912 ..
Gusthi kalari 1905 .. learning martial arts ..
Kids with jackfruit and cocnut, 1905
Aerating the land by breaking hard blocks of sand after ploughing, kattayodakkal,  1921 ..
Courtesy to Mathrubhumi newspaper for publishing these photographs which will be an ocean of information to the present generation to understand how their ancestors 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 reproduction of these photos.

Archives mission 21 / Basel Mission: BMA QL-30.012.0018
Digital reproduction by the University of Southern California Digital Archive. Available:http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/impa/controller/view/impa-m44665.html?x=1343719344496
Accessed July 24, 2012.

A big thanks .. !!


  1. Great post .. Enjoyed every bit of it ... Thanks indeed ..

  2. Good collections..... After a hundred years we are instead of them.


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