Treasure trove:A research team from Calicut University examining the documents found in Malappuram district.
A research team from Calicut University has stumbled upon a heap of rare documents that have the potential to redefine the history of Malabar during the time of the British.
The documents found at Kidangazhi Mana at Porur, near Wandoor, in the district can help historians re-read Malabar’s history of the 19th and 20th centuries.
P. Sivadasan, Head of the Department of History, who led the research team, said that they found many rare documents and books during a search conducted at the Mana.
The documents found at the Mana with British stamps on them threw light on the shift of power from the Mysore regime to the British. Many palm leaves recovered from a temple at Karikkad, near Manjeri, about a year ago too had thrown light on this power shift. “We have found hundreds of documents. All of them have great significance from a history researcher’s point of view,” Dr. Sivadasan said.
The documents threw light on the domestic, social, agricultural, industrial, political and cultural lives that existed in the 19th and 20th centuries.
A rare book of etiquette meant to be followed by educated women of landed families was among the finds. Similarly, rare books like G. Sankara Kurup’s Tipu Sultan and a 1892 land survey handbook are among the history team’s prized recovery from the Kidangazhi Mana. The famous Pattambi Panchangam published in 1900 was also found.
“The documents have solid references to many things like bicycle, agricultural implements, domestic utensils, vehicles and foreign trips. All these are good enough to have a fresh look at the social history of Malabar in the 19th and 20th centuries,” said Dr. Sivadasan.
Subramanian Namboothiri from Kidangazhi Mana and Unnikrishnan Namboothiri from Palisseri Mana at Manjeri helped the team.