Paliam Nalukettu Museum
Paliam Nalukettu Museum is located at North Paravur, in the main zone of Muziris Heritage site. Paliam Nalukettu’s are the traditional homesteads (tharavads) where several generations of a matrilineal joint family lived together. Nalukettu consists of a main house along with a few satellite houses. Portico, Inner Hall, Kitchen and four blocks – Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western – constitute the different parts of a traditional Nalukettu.
The design and construction pattern are closely linked to the life cycle of women in the family, their rituals, beliefs and celebrations. Nalukettu was occupied by the women of Paliam Noble family who followed matrilineal system. This structure is also an epitome of the traditional housing architecture of Kerala. Nalukettu museum presents to the visitor, the architectural model of Nalukettu and various social-cultural and economic practices from the feudal era.
This classical structure was built by the elder member of the family in the year 1786, for the women and minor boys of Paliam family. It has a big courtyard at the centre with rooms surrounding it and Purathalam, where the members gathered to chat and for recreational activities. There used to be a common dining hall and a common kitchen as all the members lived and dined together, under the protection of Valiachan.
The boys, when they became majors, had separate bachelor living quarters and after their marriage, the administration provided them houses. This style of ‘community living’ continued till the partition of the joint family. The last members left the Nalukettu after the family partition deed, and so the building is no longer occupied.