Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2020
The Boya Nayaks/Naiks are a branch of the larger Boya community and are settled in the areas of northern Tamil Nadu while the majority of the Boya community is settled in Andhra Pradesh. While both branches are Dravidian in origin and arrived from Iran, the Boyas of Andhra speak telugu while the Boya Nayaks speak Tamil. The Boya naiks served as poligars of the hereditary Tamil kings for several generations. Like other Boyas, these Boya naiks also refuse to dine with the Vaddi and the Sugali communities.
The Boya naik matrimony is strictly endogamous and the practice of marrying one's cousin is a common practice. It is practiced to prevent the dilution of their racial purity. The marriage ceremony is fixed by the elders of both families and announced in the presence of their deity Chettu devara. The day before the wedding is reserved for a song and dance session where both men and women perform the kilata/killona ( a local folk dance) and sing praises of their lords Chettu devara and Mabbu devara. The actual day of the wedding is marked by early morning prayers and the erection of a huge mandap in the middle of the pavilion for the Boya naik bride and the Boya nayak groom to perform the saptapadi and bounds themselves in holy matrimony for the next seven generations.
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