Folklore museum exhibits a collection antique costumes of different art forms from South India . Kerala has a rich tradition of different kinds of art forms like classical, ritual, folklore & martial. To make us remind of the different and vivid art forms of Kerala, the museum exhibits a collection of different art costumes.
Costumes collection of Classical Arts
Kathakali Costumes: The dance drama of Kerala from the 17th century rooted in the Hindu mythology. The elaborate make up & the large costume has much to say about the characters of the play along with the instruments like the Chenda, Sudha maddalam, elaathalam The colours used in the make-up are determined by the nature of the characters. The costumes in Kathakali represents the three qualities of nature viz. satya (nobility), rajas (aggressiveness) and tamas (darkness) represented by pacha, kathi and thadi respectively. Each artist performing Kathakali wears ornaments full of beads over the shoulder. The jewelry includes necklace, bracelets, bangles, gold colored breastplates and a bunch of tiny bells tied to each ankle. Female characters are simpler in their costumes but more elaborate in their jewelry.
Mohiniyattam Ornaments: The traditional art form of Kerala consists of necklaces, ‘vanki’ (armband), ‘oddiyanam’ (waistband), nose stud (Nath Bullaku) and ‘jimikki’ (swinging ear ornaments) Elakkathali Maangamala and Kasumala ( Neck ornaments) The ‘Mangamala’ is made by linking together gem studded mango shaped pieces. The ‘kasumala’ is made by attaching gold coins together. The pendants for the necklaces are shaped like swans, peacocks and parrots The oddiyanam is also gold plated which may sometimes have the picture of Goddess Lakshmi engraved in it.
Bharathanatyam Ornaments: The classical art form of south India said to have originated in Tamil Nadu. It is known as Daasiyatam since it was performed by the deva-dasi's or the temple dancers in the temples of Tamil-Nadu long ago. The ornaments of Bharathanatyam includes Mathapatti ( sun & Moon), Rakodi ( Jurapin Round), Small Necklace, Nath, Hair Choti Bits, Jhumki, Kaanchains, Long Necklace, Belt, Bangles, Bajuband etc.
Ottanthullal Costumes: Long tape of white and red coloured clothes looped around the waist-string to form a knee-long skirt. The chest-piece is adorned by various coloured beads, glass and tinsel, and other ornaments. The face is painted green, the lips, red and the eyes emphasised with black paint. The headgear is colourful and richly decorated,
Costumes Collection of of Ritual Arts
The ritual arts of Kerala are multifarious and spectacular. Kerala, Folklore museum exhibits a gallery of different costumes of different ritual arts in Kerala.
Costumes of Theyyam: There is a rich collection of bangles anklets and girdles belonging to Theyyam a kind of ritualistic dance of northern Kerala in the museum.Several kinds of face writing used in Theyyam makeup are on display here.Face writing vary to Theyyam to Theyyam.Theyyam is an art form that creates complex visual images through face-writing. Facial painting is unique to each Theyyam. This speaks volumes about the effort to give a meticulous individual touch and appearance to Theyyams. Usually natural herbal colours are used to paint the face of Theyyam performers.The materials used to paint the face are Musk, Saffron, Vermillion, Quicklime, Rice powder and Turmeric.Each type of face-writing is given a distinct name by village artists and face-writing is integral to the variety of the Theyyams.Face-writing is a tool for presenting a whole range of expressions and concepts expressed by Theyyam artists.Kakkara Bhagavathy Theyyam, Vettakkorumakan Theyyam, Puliyoor Kannan Theyam, Puliyoor Kali Theyyam, Bhairavan Theyyam, Palottu Daivam Theyyam, Vadakkathi Bhagavathi Theyyam, Urpazhi Theyyam, Thekkan Gulikan Vellattam, Thaiparadevatha Theyyam, Bali Theyyam, Kanikkoru makan Theyyam, Vayanattukulavan Vellattam, Puthiya Bhagavathy Theyyam, Narambil Bhagavathy Theyyam, Bali vellattom Theyyam, Vayanattukulavan Theyyam, Thekkan Kariathan Theyyam.
Costume of Poothan & Thira: The costumes include larger-than life headdresses with peacock features, long tresses and imposing masks with protruding tongues and eyes are sure to leave a lasting impression even on the uninitiated. The costume of Thira consists of a huge headgear carved from the root of Jack fruit tree with colourful skirts and anklets.
Folk Art Costumes: The Folk arts of Kerala are extremely unique and bear the legacy of the Kerala traditional art and craft. Through these folk arts, culture of society is revealed. Originating from the social history, the folk arts are an integral part of the social life of the inhabitants of the area. The museum exhibits the costumes of Kummattikali folk art of Kerala as well from Karnataka.
Kummattukali: is the colorful mask-dance particular during the National festival of Kerala, Onam. Kummattikali performers move from house to house collecting small gifts and entertaining people. The dancers don a heavily painted colourful wooden mask depicting faces of different characters of Gods & others like Hanuman, Ganesh, Kiratha, or hunters. These masks are usually made out of saprophyte or jack fruit tree, or the Coral tree[ The dancers wear skirts woven out of plaited grass/ cover their whole body with bunches of grass for a more bushy appearance. The rhythm for the dance movements is provided by vibrating the string of a bow like instrument called an Onavillu. Arecanut wood is used to make the bow and the strings are beaten with a narrow bamboo Costumes of Yakshagana, String Puppet, Shadow Puppet, are also displayed in the museum.
Yakshagana: the dance drama of Karnataka have special costumes like large sized skirts, colored headgear and painted faces. The costume comprises of a ‘dhoti’ (loin cloth), a pyjama, a jacket and a loose skirt. Makeup depends on the type of character portrayed. The headgear consists of a variety of crowns, representing the type of character. Artists playing important characters sport a 'Mundasu', which is a richly adorned heavy headgear. It is broad in the middle and tapering towards the top, giving it an appearance of a lotus leaf. ornament is the 'bhujakeerthi', which looks like a wing and is worn over the elbow. It is plain-surfaced when used in ‘Mudalapaya' (dance form played in eastern Karnataka) and rough containing spikes when used in 'Paduvalapaya' (dance form played in western Karnataka). Other ornaments include heavy armlets, anklets, ‘edehara’ (a chest ornament made of wood, pasted with paper and glass pieces in a decorative manner) and ‘veeragase’ (an ornament worn over the waist).
Martial Art: :Kerala is renowned for its varied martial arts. Amongst the many forms of martial arts of Kerala are Kalaripayattu, Parisa Kali, Velakanni, Valeru, Kunderu and Njaninmel Kali Kalaripayattu is one of the oldest martial arts in the world. The original martial art form evolved in north Kerala.
Kalaripayattu: is the oldest martial art forms have specially developed weapons for fighting. Weapons like Katara/Dagger/Knife Vettukathi/Machete Churika or Short sword Val or Long sword are exhibited here. Neduvati/Pirambu or Longstaff ,Cheruvadi/Muchan meaning Stick Lathi or Long stick Urumi orFlexible sword Kuruvadi or Short stick Otta Curved stick Gadha Mace/Club Paricha or Buckler Kunthum or Spear.