Kathakai Makeup kerala Photo Gallery
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Kathakai Makeup

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The characters in Kathakali are all mythological and so the question of their make-up cannot be settled on a realistic basis. They all have set modes of make-up and attire and adornment and are reduced to five main types, according to their real character or qualities. These types are usually known by the predominant color applied to the face or its pattern. These are pacha (green), Kathi (knife), thadi(beard), kari(black) and minukku(polished).

Virtuous and noble characters are in pacha. Proud aggressive and unrighteous characters belong to the kathi type. The bearded type known as thadi are of three varieties. The most aggressive and demoniac are known as chuvanna thadi (red beard), mythical and fabulous beings like the monkey-gods are known as vellathadi(white beard); aboriginals, forest-men and cave-dwellers are known as karutha thadi(black beards). The lowest type of beings like the aggressor are classed as kari(black). The gentle and spiritually inclined character (like women, sages, Brahmins etc.) come under the type known as minukku (polished).

The costume and ornamentation are elaborate and designed to heighten the superman effect. The large overcoats, the flowing scarves, the bulging skirts, the antique ornaments, the stirkingly opulent headdresses with streaming hair flowing down to the waist and covering the back-all create enlarged figures well befitting the sculptured facial features and produce tremendously impressive impersonations.

Kathakai Makeup
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