Fuller believes it probable that the Nareae referred to the Nairs and the Capitalis range is the Western Ghats.
Christopher Fuller, an anthropologist, has said that it is likely that the first reference to the Nair community was made by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, dating from 77 AD.
That work describes what is probably the Malabar coast area wherein could be found the "Nareae, who are shut in by the Capitalis range, the highest of all the mountains in India".
Up to this time the Nairs had been historically a military community, who along with the Nambudiri Brahmins owned most of the land in the region; after it, they turned increasingly to administrative service.
Subsequent to Indian independence from British rule, the regions of Travancore, Malabar District and Cochin became the present-day state of Kerala.
The British and French were also active in the region now known as Kerala, the former from 1615 and the latter from 1725.
These various European powers combined with one or another of the Nair rulers, fighting for control.Although the detail varied from one region to the next, the main points of interest to researchers of Nair marriage customs were the existence of two particular rituals — the pre-pubertal thalikettu kalyanam and the later sambandam - and the practice of polygamy in some areas.Some Nair women also practiced hypergamy with Nambudiri Brahmins from the Malabar region.Trade with China, which had declined for some time, began to increase once more in the 13th-century and it was during this period that two small Nair kingdoms were established.Both of these — at Kolattunad and at Vernad — contained major seaports, and they expanded by taking over the inland territory of neighbouring chieftains.Historically, Nairs lived in large family units called tharavads that housed descendants of one common female ancestor.