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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Three types of acting are embodied in Kathakali.

kathakali mudras

At this stage the curtain is pulled off from the stage. Ramanaattam was renamed to Attakatha. Scholars are of opinion that Kathakali is the result of a fusion between all Indian theater tradition mudraas by Koodiyattom and the indigenous tradition of folk dance forms. Red is applied on the sides of the nose and stretches it to the forehead above eye-brows to look like an upturned moustache. Structure of the Performance In olden days Kathakali performance mostly took place on temple premises or at the house of a local landlord.

Design varies according to the type of characters. Koodiyattam is a Sanskrit drama enacted in Kerala alone.

Kathakali Mudras

Massage Apart from these symbols, this Mudra is used to show the symbols, Sprinkle, clapping hands, breaking skull of the elephant, chertishing, giving water to god and message of katbakali.


The headgear worn by the various characters in Kathakali are excellent specimen of intricate woodcarving, an ancient speciality of mudrras region.

The atmosphere is surcharged with high pitch music. Man look aftering the elephant 3 Single hand symbols: There are 20 double hand symbols and 9 single hand symbols using this Mudra.

Katti This is a complicated and meticulous make-up. Mudras hand poses play a pivotal role in Kathakali. The other thing, 7. Sound of quick and heavy foot-steps from behind the curtain pierces through the atmosphere. Even the shiny finishing with trinkets take hours of painstaking labour by expert craftsmen. Thripathaaka Flag with three colours: This will help the actor to go deeper into the characterization of the role in proper situation in the play The actor himself does a major part of the face make-up.

Flowing 2 single hand symbols: A female demon, 8. The performance is around a big multi-wicked bell-metal lamp. Faces are blackened and a red crescent is created in centre-cheeks. Sattvika expression of thoughts by articulating the mindAangika kathakqli of ideas by gestures and Vaachika conveyance of idea by singing, shrieking etc.

Taadi or beard is created for both the characters — godly and demonic. Katakam Golden Bangle 4.


White Taadi make-up is for characters like Hanuman monkey god and the like. Over it, from centre of both the chin to the lower jaw, white rice ,udras curves known as Chuttis are given. In Kummi a sort of dance the movements and gestures are not rigid.

Kapidhakam The fruit of a tree. A white rosette with a red dot within is made in the middle of the chin and lower part of the lip and up-to kzthakali chin is red coloured. Ravana, Keechaka, Dussassana and the like fall in this category. Hence the movements are often explosive. Reddening of the white portions of eyes of the characters is a salient feature in Kathakali. Ask us a Question on Facebook Karmakerala. There are kathalali double hand symbols and 15 single hand symbols using this Mudra.

The supreme being kathakalu Red Taadi make-up is for mild evil characters like Sugriva, Baali etc. The intricate make-up of Kathakali consumes more than three hours. Indian dramatic theory explains 9 kinds of basic sentiments, Rasa with a corresponding sthayi bhava emotional stayi mood. For this tender seeds of sollanum pubescence are used.

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