Mudras. Kathakali mudras (hand gestures). HOME · ABOUT US · About Us · Performance · Food & Accomodation · MASTERS · · Mary John · Riya K. Mudras (hand poses) play a pivotal role in Kathakali. Mudras tremendously reduce literary expressions to elementary notions very easily. The basic Mudras. Kathakali is a highly stylized classical kerala dance performance noted for its attractive make-up of characters, their elaborate costumes.

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The vocal form for the Kathakali is known as Sopaanam, which generally two singers perform.

Tail of the animal a mudrxs White lines in mudrsa shape are drawn around the eyes with red colour in between the lines. Kapidhakam The fruit of a tree: Ramanaattam was renamed to Attakatha. Reddening of the white portions of eyes of the characters is a salient feature in Kathakali.

Offering holy materials to the sacrificial fire while chanting ‘manthras’, 5. Lord Indra’s weapon, Faces are blackened and a red crescent is created in centre-cheeks. Katakam Golden Bangle 4. There are two types of Mudras: This make-up consists of white beard and a fur coat. That is, some symbols are shown using two different Mudras in both hands. Wing of a bird, 2. The communication among the characters and to the audience ksthakali through an intricate language of hand gestures, used in combination with facial expression and body movements.

On the forehead and nose tip Chuttipuvus flower-like white knobs in larger size than for any other characters are also shown. This make-up is with black beard and black coat. Over it, from centre of both the chin to the lower jaw, white rice paste curves known katahkali Chuttis are given.


Mudras hand poses play a pivotal role in Kathakali.

This is preliminary dance on the stage by the main character. The acting mode of Kathakali in its muxras can be better understood in terms of four-fold scheme of historic representation given in Natyasastra. A white pattern is developed from green painted base of the nose to lead to either side of the cheeks by encircling the red spots.

Worship of god using 8 substances, 5. Katti characters are evil forces or fierce characters or demon characters. It was one of the Rajas Chieftain of Kottarakkara, who wrote the first play intended for Kathakali performance. Ears of cow, 4. Make-up The make-up, called Chutty in the bibliography of Kathakali, is also an art form in itself. Green denotes godliness, white denotes spirituality, red denotes turmoil, black denotes evil and yellow denotes combination of godliness and turmoil.

Beginning of the rainy season, 2.

kathakali mudras – Kerala Tourism Blog

Minukku Minukku make-up soothes face. Arrest The symbol of ‘addressing’ anybody is showed using the Mudra Hamsapaksham. Wearing and fixing of headgear which is large in size is the next step. Two protruded canine teeth over lover lips on either end of the mouth are shown for demonic characters. Vachika drama text in the form of verses and songs are recited and sung by vocalists. One of the distinguishing characteristics of Kathakali is that the actors do not speak.


For character-wise differentiation there are three colours of Taadi — white, red and black. Mudras tremendously reduce literary expressions to elementary notions very easily. For example to show the symbol ‘Indra’, the Mudra “Sikharam” in one hand and the Mudra “Mushti” in the other hand; for ‘Sivan’ the Mudras used are “Mrigaseersham” and “Hamsapaksham”; etc. Black ointment is applied on lips and upper half of the face.

Kari Kari black make-up is for female evil characters like Soorpanaka and Simhika. There are 13 double hand symbols and 12 single hand symbols using this Mudra. Make-up is a highly reckoning factor in Kathakali. Sarpasirassu Serpant’s head For this tender seeds of sollanum pubescence are used. Using this can show the symbols like oppose, Stop!!

kathakali mudras

The atmosphere is surcharged with high pitch music. Ear-ring of a female, 2. The basic materials used for the make up are very crude items like raw amorphous Sulphur, Indigo, Rice paste, Lime, Coconut oil etc. Behind the lamp a rectangular curtain kathzkali held by two persons.

Koothu is a mix of dance and humour.

Ardhachandram Half moon