It was called Nalukettu because it consisted of four wings around a central courtyard called Nadumuttom. The quadrangle is in every way the center of life in the house and very useful for the performance of rituals.
The layout of these homes was simple, and catered to the dwelling of a large number of people, usually part of a tharavadu.
Malayali cultural genesis can be traced to their membership in a well-defined historical region known as Tamilakam, encompassing the Chera, Chola, and Pandya kingdoms and southern coastal Karnataka.
The arrival of the Cochin Jews, and the rise of Saint Thomas Christians in particular were very significant in shaping modern day Malayali culture.
A large number of Malayalis have also emigrated to the Middle East, the United States, and Europe.
There were 644,097 people with Malayalam heritage in the United States, according to the 2012 census, with the highest concentrations in Bergen County, New Jersey and Rockland County, New York, The 2001 Canadian census reported 7,070 people who listed Malayalam as their mother tongue, mostly in the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario.
The Malayali community in India has a history of immigrants to the region from various parts of the world, as well as a unique sub-culture owing to the tropical environment of the state.
According to the Indian census of 2001, there were 30,803,747 speakers of Malayalam in Kerala, making up 93.2% of the total number of Malayalam speakers in India, and 96.7% of the total population of the state.