The body of Ariyan Rajamannan, the traditional king of the Mannan tribe who died on Wednesday morning, was buried with state honours at Rajapuram in Kovilmala, the headquarters of the tribe near here on Thursday.

Minister for Welfare of the Backward Communities P.K.Jayalaksmi, who reached Kovilmala in the morning, paid floral tribute to the leader. People representing various walks of life participated in the funeral in addition to Kanis (leader of the settlements) spread across the district who arrived with the followers from each kudies (settlements).

MLAs E.S. Bijimol, Roshy Augustine, K.K. Jayachandran and S. Rajendran also reached Kovilmala to pay tribute to the King. The burial ceremony was held in the traditional tribal practice led by Kanis and the tribal priests. A week-long mourning was also announced at the meeting of the Kanis held for naming the new King prior to the burial.

Ariyan Rajamannan was the youngest ruler of the tribe, which has large presence in the district spreading over various settlements especially in the High Ranges. The meeting of the Kanis named Raghavan Raman, the uncle of Ariyan Rajamannan and elder brother of the former King Raman Thevan Rajamannan for the customary selection to the post. Rajamannan is the tag given for the King and he will be enthroned at a function to be held in traditional manner at Kovilmala.

As per the traditional custom, a new ruler is selected before the body of the present ruler is buried, though the official naming will be at a later stage. Rajappan, a minister of the tribe said that it was believed by the tribe that there should not be gap between the two rulers and the body is buried in the traditional manner with the implements used by the bereaved and items for sustenance will also be laid along with the body. The tribe believes in life after death pujas are conducted to appease the soul of the bereaved, he said.

More In: Kerala | National | Kochi