During centuries many different conquerors such as Turks, Franks, Venetians passed through Greece. As a result of these events Greeks from the conquered territories tried to find shelter in Mani.
When they came to this area they had either to submit to the local authorities, or to try with the help of arms to establish their own power.
Those who won in this struggle were called "nikliani" and those who lost – "weak creatures" ("akhamnomeri" or "famegi"). The word "nikliani" was believed to apply to a resident of a medieval city Nikli (Tegea) who once came to Mani, settled there and formed a kind of a feudal economy.
According to another version the word "nikliani" comes from the name of a Byzantine leader Niklo who together with his companions in 1453 came and settled in the very center of Mani and tried with the help of arms to establish his feudal power.
Anyhow, the "niklians" lived on raised places in tall house-towers and the "weak creatures" had to build their houses near the towers so that they could serve the "niklians" and fought for them in case of necessity.
Little by little the "niklians" became strong and powerful and really were the ones who ruled in villages. In case if two "niklian" families lived in the same village they would compete and fight for the leadership.
This usually happened in Middle Mani and in the Outer Mani things were not so rigid and the feudal hierarchy not so strict.