Table 1. Caste-wise distribution of traditional village leadership and servant positions in six study villages. The Sakkliyar are the predominant servant caste in the Palani hills region. See appendix for further detail on traditional village structure and ethnographic background. The term Dalit refers to the servant groups also termed Harijan, untouchable, or Scheduled Caste/Tribe.

Caste group Leadership positions
(inherited)
Servant positions
(appointed by leaders)
Regional Status
Manadiyar 10 - Village Leader
Asariyar 8 - Village Leader
Mudaliyar 3 - Middle
Pillaiyar 3 - Middle
Chettiyar 2 - Middle
Reddiyar 2 - Middle
Thevar 1 - Middle
Sakkliyar - 98 Dalit