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Chera Dynasty was that of Villavar/Nadalvar Kings. The Cheras called themselves Villavar Kon and they were supported by Villavar subcastes such as Villavar, Malayar and Vanavar. Meenavars were the ancient subcastes of Tamil Villavar people.
The Northern counterparts of the Villavar people were Banas who formed the Bana Kingdom and Alupas Pandyan kingdom. Banas had the title Mahabali while the Villavar had the title Maveli.
The Chera Coins displayed Bow and Arrow insignia alongwith Palm Tree of the Villavars . The Villavar people were involved in the cultivation and harvesting the Palm trees from time immemorial. On some Chera coins there was images resembling Pile of coconuts were seen on the reverse side.
Villavar insignia Palm Tree and Bow and Arrow were seen almost all the Chera Coins.
Sun, Moon, Flag Post and Elephants were inscribed too in the Chera coins.
Ummattur Chiefs, a branch of Kongu Cheras who ruled until 14th century even after the fall of Mahodayapuram Cheras issued many copper coins.
Some of the Ancient Chera Coins displayed Hill insignia of Malayar along with their official Bow and Arrow and Palm tree. Rarely Chera Coins displayed the Fish insignia of the Meenavar people.
Kerala meant Kera = Coconut + Alam = Field
All the Villavar kings The Cheras, Pandyas and Alupas Shared Kulasekhara title.
KULA meant lineage or Bunch of Coconuts. SEKHARAN meant collector or Protector.
KULASEKHARAN might mean the Collector of Coconut Bunch.
Kula=Bunch of Cocoanuts Sekharan=Collector.
After the fall of Chera Empire (1102 AD) and the Pandyan Empire(1310) the minting of SANAR KASU or VILLU KASU might have stopped.
However the Sanar Kasu or Villu Kasu was still in usage even after the fall of Villavar Kingdoms in the fourteenth century. During the Portuguese Era the Venetian Gold Ducats or Sequins were used as a substitute for the Sanar Kasu.
The Venetian sequins displayed St.Mark standing before the Doge, the Venetian Prince and inbetween them was a Cross on the obverse side. On the reverse side of the coin two bow like curved marks were there. British scholors tried to explain why people called it Sanar Kasu because people simply mistook the Doge standing before the cross as a Shanar standing before a Palm tree.
Edgar Thurston like all the other European reasearchers usually writes about Nadars in a disparaging way. European researcers though lacked knowledge in Dravidian language and culture they were effectively assisted by Madras Brahmins. Edgar Thurston and his assistant Kandur Rangachari mentions about the Shanar Coin and maintains that it was only a Venetian Sequin mistaken for a Sanar Kasu.
In the Portuguese Goa Sanar-Kasu was used after 1500s. Perhaps the Goans mistook the Venetian Secchino as a Sanar Kasu too. Though Christians Goans perhaps mistook the cross for a Palm Tree and the Doge standing opposite to St Mark, a Shanar. Hence the Goans called it Shanar Kasu too.
Other explanation is that the Gold Sanar Kasu otherwise called Villu Kasu had been in usage for
a very good book to understand the revolution of dalit politics.