Castes and Tribes of Southern India/Kotippattan

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Kotippattan.— The Kotippatans are described, in the Travancore Census Report, 1901, as "a class of Tamil Brāhmans, who, at a very early age in Malabar history, were declared by society to have lost the original Brāhmanical status. The offence was, it is said, their having- taken to the cultivation of the betel-vine as their chief occupation. The ordinances of caste had prescribed other duties for the Brāhmans, and it is not unlikely that Sankarāchārya, to whose curse the present position of the Kotippattan is traced, disapproved of the change. In general appearance as regards thread, position of hairtuft, and dress of men as well as women, and in ceremonials, the Kotippattans cannot be easily distinguished from the Brāhman class. Sad instances have occurred of Brāhman girls having been decoyed into matrimonial alliances with Kotipattans. They form a small community, and the state of social isolation into which they have been thrown has greatly checked their increase,as in the case of many other Malabar castes. Their priests are at present Tamil Brāhmans. They do not study the Vēdas, and the Gāyatri hymn is recited with the first syllable known as the pranavam. In the matter of funeral ceremonies, a Kotippattan is treated as a person excommunicated. The cremation is a mere mechanical process, unaccompanied by any mantras (sacred formulae) or by any rites, anantarasamskāra (deferred funeral rites) being done after the lapse of ten days. They have their annual srāddhas, but no offerings of water (tarpanam) on the new-moon day. Their household deity is Sāsta. Their inheritance is from father to son. Their household language is Malayālam.Their chief seat is Vāmanapuram, twenty miles from Trivandrum."

Kotlu (cow-shed). — An exogamous sept of Yānādi.