The south Indian state of Kerala is well known to Indologists for its conservatism. The caste system is said to have achieved here its greatest rigidity. The men of the highest caste, the Kerala Brahmins called Namputiris, have preserved religious customs and practices from a very ancient past. The aim of this book is to be an ethonography of a group of Namputiris with the general purpose of examining whether Vedic Brahmanism still thrives in Kerala and how the Namputiris have coped with the initially outward pressure for change, and with the special purpose of studying what the Namputiris' relationship to some ancient Kerala customs or rules is nowadays. The aim is also to study whether modernization also means Westernization.