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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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. Kartharee Mukham Scissor’s sharp point. A female demon, 8.

There are 10 double hand symbols: This make-up consists of white beard and a fur coat. Anjaly Folded hands in Salutation White lines in oval shape are drawn around the eyes with red colour in between the lines.

Women performer wears silver paijaeb a variety of ornament before tying the bells. Ayurveda Packages Ayurveda Centre. One of the distinguishing characteristics of Kathakali is that the actors do not speak.

Kathakali Guide and Explanation

The three folds of skin above the naval of a woman. Over it, from centre of both the chin to the lower jaw, white rice paste curves known as Chuttis are given. The costumes of Kathakali have resemblance with the costumes of Koodiyaattam and Chakyaarkooth. Through a systematic process of practice an actor gain a full control of the facial muscles, which enables him to express the bhavas.


He shakes the curtain violently. Circling 6 Single hand symbols: Pachha green facial make-up is symbolic to gods like Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, Krishna etc. Taadi Taadi or beard is created for both the characters — godly and demonic. The basic Mudras number sixty-four and these Mudras are elixir of words.

kathakali mudras

Stories based on other epics and puranas were added to its repertoire in later period. Upper portion of the forehead is covered with a red ribbon attached the headgear. This is preliminary dance on the stage by the main character. Performance Kathakali is performed anywhere, but mostly in mudars precincts. There are two types of Mudras: Fingers of the character left hand fingers covered with long thimbles rise in the centre of the curtain.

Kathakali Mudra Stock Photos & Kathakali Mudra Stock Images – Alamy

Growth 9 single hand symbols: The performance is around a big multi-wicked bell-metal lamp. Minukku Minukku make-up soothes face. At this time a colour-canopy appears over the curtain, when an extra ordinary noise is heard. Literature Sahithyam Music Sangeetham Painting Chithram Acting Natyam Mudrsa Nritham The role of each of these kafhakali forms is very vital in the making of Kathakali what it is, the King of performing arts, particularly theatre.

The performance for each story was designed to last for six to eight hours. Soochimukham Needle’s sharp point Ramanaattam was renamed to Attakatha. Black ointment is applied on lips and upper half of the face.

Two oval shaped red spots — one each on forehead and nose tip — complete the White Taadi. This will help the actor to go deeper into the characterization of the role in proper situation in the play. Hamsaasyam Swan’s peek This is a preliminary dance behind the curtain, employing basic techniques. Each colour in make-up denotes each particular quality.


Koodiyattam is a Sanskrit drama enacted in Kerala alone. Happiness and comfort, Female characters spontaneously breaking into “Sari” and “Kummi” dances can be seen in few dramas.

The performed stories were then known as Ramanattom play pertaining to Ramawhich later came to be called as Kathakali. The stage will be decorated with coconut leaves, bunches of areca nuts etc. There are 16 double hand symbols and 10 single hand symbols using this Mudra.

Two Chuttipuvus flower-like white knobs are created on the face. Tail feather of a peacock, 4. Kathakali is more popular than ChaakyaarkoothKoodiyaattam and other forms of art worshipping dance-dramas. Swinging of elephant’s ears, 8. This over, he midras well-starched and pleated skirt followed by a jacket.

White Taadi White Taadi make-up is for characters like Hanuman monkey god and the like.

The only source of light is a big bell metal lamp placed down the center stage. Mudras hand poses play a pivotal role in Kathakali. Mrigaseersham Deer’s head The only accompaniments are percussion instruments. The actors stand behind the curtain. Delicate movements are rare.