Kapu is one of the popular tribal communities that are found in the soils of Kerala. The anthropologists have derived several stories that are related to the origin of Kapu tribes. These Kapu tribes are regarded to be the original descendants of the Aryans who have settled down in the southern part of India.
Some also believe that these Kapu tribes are successors of the emigrants of the Kaampu tribe from Kampilya, area located near Ayodhya. According to the primitive texts, these Kapu tribes are also referred to as the Kaampu tribe. Some historians also refer them as Kossar tribe, who are thought to have established the Satavahanas and several other primitive dynasties. Interestingly, it also has been claimed by many that these Kapu tribes have served as traders and also established close link with Kakateeya and Vijayanagara Empire. Apart from Kerala, the Kapu tribes are also scattered in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh and Orissa.
As far the occupations of these Kapu tribes are concerned, over the years these Kapu tribes have adapted several professions. In the Medieval period, most of these Kapu tribes have acted as guards from various plunderers and invaders. Later these Kapu tribes served as village heads giving advice to various people. Farming is also a renowned profession amongst the Kapu tribal community. In fact the word Kapu is a synonym of farmer. Nowadays, these Kapu tribes have taken up the profession of land owning while there are many who work as laborers in the fields. Primarily being an agrarian or military community, the Kapu people are also engaged in trade, industry and arts.
Societal division of these Kapu tribes is done in a unique manner. Several sub castes are found and these are Balija or Balija Naidu , Munnuru Kapu, Ontari, Telaga, Turpu Kapu, Naidu. Further more, gothrams like Janakula, Mahipala, Paidipaala, Raghukula, Kasyapa, Dhanunjaya, Athreya, Achyuta also are prevalent among the Kapu tribal community.
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(Last Updated on : 15-10-2009)