A Description of the Zamorin Family

The Namakaranam and Annaprasanam of the children are performed in the sixth month after their birth. The Tampurattis are named Sridevi and Mahadevi and the Tampurans Manavikraman, Manaviyadan and Virarayan. Those who bear the sane name are distinguished by pet name; the Tampurattis aro called Anujatti, Kunhianujatti, and Jyeshtatti, and the Tampurans Ettan, Kunhettan, Kuttiettan, Cheriyettan, Kunhunni, Kuttikkuohunoi, Kuttuni, Anujan, Cherianujan, Ammaman and Merumakan. To avoid confusion between members having the same pet name prefixes like Valia and Cheria are also employed.
Whatever the name of the Zamorin, he is styled in all formal correspondence as follows :—Srimatu Sakalaguna Sampannarana Sakaladharma Paripalakarana Mitrajana Manoranjitarana Akhandita Lakshmi Prasannrana Raja Manya Raja Sri Manavikrama Zamorin Maharaja Bahadur Avargal
The education of the children begins when they are five years old. Desamangalam Variar is the hereditary tutor. The Tampurans live with their mothers and sisters in the Ampati till their Choulam in the fifteenth year. After Choulam, in ancient days, they learnt fencing with its eighteen throws under Tamme Panikkar, the hereditary instructor-in-arms, after which they either accompanied their elders to the battlefield or served their apprenticeship in civil government under them.
Tlhe Talikettukalyanam of the Tampurattis take place in their ninth or eleventh year before they attain puberty. The Tali is tied by a member of the Cranganore Raja’s family. After the Tirantukalyanam the Zamorin selects a suitable husband for them. According to the principle of hypergamy this must be a Nambuthri or Kshatriya. Formerly they were generally chosen, for political and strategic reasons, from the Kshatriya Svarupamas of Bettam. Kurumbranad, Beypore and Cranganore, though, now and then, Nambutiris also came in for the distinction. The education of the Tampurattis continues even after their Sambandham, and two of them, both named Manorama, a belonging to the Kilakke Kovilakam, are still remembered for their proficiency in Sanskrit grammar.
Tbc seniormost Tampuratti in all the three Kovilakams taken together in now called the Ampati Kovilakam Valia Tampuratti. The Zamorin, whatever his age and exact relation to her, calls her “mother” and pays her all the respects due to a mother. The oldest Tampuratti in each of the three Kovilakams is the Valia Tampuratti. To conjunction with the Valia Tampuram she manages the affairs of her Kovilakam.
Among the Tampurans there were at first only two Stanams or dignities, Muppu or the chief and Elaya or the second in rank. In course of time three more came into existence. All three five Stanams have even now separate estates of their own and Ariyittuvalcha. The first three were in ancient days Kurvalehas also. They exercised ruling powers; they were styled ‘Princes of Ernad’; they enjoyed
the privilege of ‘standing in state’ during the Mamakam festival at Tirunavayi. Even now whenever they go out damsels sprinkle water before them; and they have each their Bhagavati and their peculiar emblem.
The sixth prince was known as Elaya Eradi Tirumulpad; it was only a courtesy title, having neither special rights nor responsibilities.
The seniormost member of each of the Kovilakams who is not a Stani is its Valia Tampuran. To protect the interests of the Tampurattis, the Valia Tampuratti is associated with him in the management of the Kovilakam affairs, the principle of collegiality affording a check on, if not a guarantee against, abuse of authority. In the Kilakke Kovilakam, however, the oldest male member does not divest himself of the management of the Kovilakam even after he becomes the Zamorin.
The five Stanams are : —
(l) Samutiri Tirumulpad;
(2) Ernad Elamkur Nambiyatiri Tirumulpad;
(3) Ernad Munamkur Nambiyatiri Tirumulpad;
(4) Edattaranad Nambiyatiri Tirumulpad;
(5) Netiyiruppil Mutta Eradi Tirumulpad.

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