On the Malabar coast, in the caste of Nairs, men can have but one wife, and a woman on the contrary can have mul­ti­ple hus­bands.1 I think we can dis­co­ver the ori­gin of this cus­tom. The Nairs are the caste of nobles, who are the sol­diers of all these nations. In Europe, sol­diers are pre­ven­ted from mar­rying ; in Malabar, where the cli­mate is more deman­ding, they have been content to make mar­riage as unpro­ble­ma­tic as pos­si­ble : they have given a woman to seve­ral men, which equi­va­lently redu­ces the attach­ment for a family and hou­se­hold cares, and lea­ves these men their mili­tary spi­rit.

Voyage de François Pyrard, ch. xxvii. Lettres édifiantes et curieuses, third and tenth compendia on the Malleami on the Malabar Coast ; that is regarded as an abuse of the military profession, and as Pyrard says, a woman of the brahmin caste would never marry more than one husband.