Profile Source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
The Ilavan are also known as Izhava or Ezhavas. They live primarily in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. They work as toddy-tappers. This means they extract sap from palms such as coconut and palmyra to make an alcoholic beverage. They grow coconut, palm and sugar.
Some of them converted to Christian while under British rule. Because of the makeup of their society, this segment became a separate subgroup known as the Chogan.
A caste association was established in the group in 1903. It was named after Narayana Guru. He established an ashram where he proclaimed his message of "one caste, one religion, one god".
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