Konkani Vyshyas is a Hindu trading caste which descended from Goa. 

They are one of the six Konkani castes in Kochi. They are settled mostly in Fort Kochi area. The half a mile stretch that the community inhibits has seven temples which play an important role in the social live of Vyshyas. Most Vyshya homes lines up the narrow allays that lead up to temples. 

They are culturally distinct from the other Konkani communities and this cultural uniqueness is evident even in the Konkani language that they use. The community members, through their prose and poems, have enriched Konkani literature. 

Some of them have played a vital role in translating epics of Malayalam literature and there by paving the way for cultural integration between Malayalam and Konkani speaking worlds. 

The community boasts of dignitaries who have achieved the highest civilian honours including the Padma awards. 

PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION BY BIJU IBRAHIM: COMMUNITIES OF KOCHI

Places have souls and Mattancherry in the city of Kochi has a mystic one. Biju Ibrahim discovered this while documenting the lives of Kochi’s 38 communities through black and white pictures. Distinct in layers of identities – caste, faith, language, ethnicity and region – these communities have been welcomed over centuries and have, in turn, infused Mattancherry and Kochi with a rare and rich heritage. Historically, it has been home to Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus. The sea and port attracted sailors, traders from Arabia and Gujarat, preachers of Semitic faiths, colonisers such as the Dutch and Portuguese, political refugees and migrant labourers. A cross-section of India lives here in a radius of 5 kilometers. 

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AUTHOR & PHOTOGRAPHER

BIJU IBRAHIM

He captures the essence of rustic geographies, the people who are now becoming archive of the earth, the mythic & mystery of spaces & places, alleys of now filled with the density of then or before.

ART ORGANISATION

URU ART HARBOUR

URU art harbour is a cultural hub situated at Kochi. URU seeks to be a space for collaboration and a continual hub for artistic, cultural, and intellectual exploration. Founded by Riyas Komu and Zoya Riyas.

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