The history of "Mannanars", a Thiyya landowning Dynasty who ruled over an area of highland in present Kannur District. The word Mannanar derives from Mannan, meaning King and ar, which pluralise it.The last Theeya King Kunhi Kelappan Mannanar was stabbed to death in AD 1902.
The first thesis on Thiyyar was written by Sree Potheri Kunjambhu Vakil,a well known advocate of Kannur in 1904. He was the author of a novel "Saraswathee Vijayam" which is not available in the market now.
Another book fairly descriptive, was written by Sree Kambilananthan master in 1932. Reprinted copies can be obtained but as said that the publishers have instilled some of their own ideas.contrary to the authors views according to him the ancestors of Thiyyar came from Crete- Island of Mediterranean region. A volcanic eruption, followed by the earth quake and flood re suited in invadation of the island in 15 th century B.C. Its people ,excellent sailors and navigators,escaped to Asia and navigated to several places in south and south eastern parts.some of them reached South Canara ,Malabar ,Coorg and Nilgiri .Another group reached Bali and Thalnithi Islands, even today their agricultural tools and house hold implements are similar to the tools used by Thiyyars . Their style of house construction also is exactly similar to that of Thiyyars of Malabar.
A book in English titled “Influence of caste to Kerala written by sree A.M.Ananthan indicate the theory propounded by Ananthan master. He says that the invadation of island took place in B.C 1470-1450 period .
Sree T.Damu, the author of ” Lanka Parvam “is of the view point that the ancestors of Thiyyars came from Kirghistan People who lived in the north of black sea migrated to sub Mediterranean countries natives of western side of the sea next to western Europe ,southern eastern areas and came to India and Nepal.
Crete-minovam ladies was an upper government exposing top half of their breasts, at the lower end the flaps of the government have tied in a knot.The same government was worn by the Thiyyar women and it is known as “Rouka”.All the Hindu women, except Thiyyas wore no upper garments.They covered their upper body with a "Randaam mundu". At home and going out thiyyar women wear" Rouka".Ezhava ladies were not permitted to wear upper garments in Travancore and they had payed tax to the state.
There is another historical myth about the Thiyyars was ,the great king Alexander came to India with a 45000 strong army. He was almost defeated ,over 30000 of them met with death .nearly a thousand of them ran off to south. They are said to be the fore fathers of Thiyyars.
Thiyyars population is estimated to be over 35 Lakhs when Malabar was a constituent district of the erstwhile Madras State. Thiyyars of Malabar are seen in all districts of Malabar.Only ezhavas pockets in Malabar area are the highranges in Kannur and Wayanad.Ezhavas from travancore who came to malabar and settled for the educational/official purposes. Rest of them are all proud Thiyyars .Similarly all the Thiyyars settled in South Kerala maintain distinct identity from the Southern Ezhavas.