Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Modeliar is a surname derived from the honorary title Mudali, a rank that was brought by the Tamil to Ceylon during their diaspora.
(Sebastião Dalgado - Glossario Luso Asiatico).
MODELIAR, mudeliar ( more correct but less used). Chief, native Captain; honorary title. From the tamil mudaliyãr, honorific plural of mudali, “ chief “.
The term was used in early times in the Meridional India and in Melaca, but subsisting presently in Ceylon. Their ceremony dress is very rich and exuberant, partly native partly Portuguese, of XVI century nobility
(Francisco de Andrada – Chronicles of King Dom João III – 1613)
He has put to torment some modeliars, who are Captains of war people.
(Antonio Bocarro Década XIII page 495 - 1635)
They had some encounters with the enemy in Matalé, where they cut 35 heads and took some araches and modiliares, who are the head men among them.
(João Ribeiro – Fatalidade Historica Ceilão – chapter V -1685)
And consulting eachother the person that should be elected, they settled that it should be an Apuame of the Emperor and by him well considered, due to being a man of gifts among them, discreet and great friend of ours and who had become a Christian, being then called Dom João; after all, precisely the convenient for such business. And giving him the title of Modeliar, who among us exercizes the rank of Field Master, in a few days arrived at Candia...
(Friar Fernão de Queiroz,- Conquest of Ceylon -1687
The Dissauas respond to the Adelantados of Spain and Fronteyros of Portugal; the Modeliares to the Fiel Masters; the Araches to the Company Captains.
(Reginald Heber, Narrative of a journey – 1825)
The Moodeliers or native magistrates, head men as they are generally called, wear a strange mixture of Portuguese and native dress, but handsome, from the gold with which it is covered.