Thiyyas (aka Tiyyas and Theeyas) are a prominent Hindu community with origins in the Malabar region (presently part of Kerala state) of India. Their brethren include the Ezhava in the south of Kerala and the Billavas in Karnataka and Kasargod district of Kerala. Thiyyas engaged as small cultivators, soldiers (chekavar), teachers(asan), martial arts experts(gurukkal), ayurvedic doctors(vaidyar), toddy tappers, liquor businessmen, and agricultural laborers for their livihood in the olden days. Numbering almost 25% of the Kerala population, the Thiyya/Ezhava/Billava community plays major role in Kerala life.
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