Renovated Kathakali Gallery at Thrissur State Museum

Sep 01, 2016 | Vol. 08 Issue 04
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After its renovation the Kathakali gallery at the state Museum, Thrissur now looks charming and elegant. There were 13 live size figures of Kathakali characters of which 11 of them were in bad shape, now have been renovated with costumes and make up.  

After its renovation the Kathakali gallery at the state Museum, Thrissur now looks charming and elegant. There were 13 live size figures of Kathakali characters of which 11 of them were in bad shape, now have been renovated with costumes and make up. 

The renovation was done by the Chutty (costuming and facial make up in Kathakali& Kutiyattam) artist Kalanilayam Haridas and team. Ten out of the thirteen figurines   were created in clay. By referring the records in the museum, the Curator of the Museum Priyarajan P S says that these were created by the artist late K P A Pisharodi in 1938. The figures here depict the distinctive characters classified in Kathakali as Pacha, Minukku, Kathi, Chuvanna Thaadi, Vellathaadi and Kari.

According to Haridas the head gears and ornaments used in the figures are about 100 years old and were actually used in Kathakali performances.  As part of renovation, the golden foils are changed, facial drawings were redrawn and costumes newly tailored. The other artists involved in this are  Kalanilayam Padmanaban, Kalanilayam Devadas, Kalanilayam Prasaath, Kalanilayam Rajeev, Kalanilayam Vishnu, Kalamandalam Nikhil, Kalamandalam Ravi, Rahul, Vyshak and Oorakam Narayanan.

As a Chutty artist, Kalanilayam Haridas, a native of Cherpulassery and settled in Irinjalakkuda Thrissur district,  has about twenty years of experience in makeup and costuming in Kathakali, Kutiyattam and Krishnanattam.   Now he is working with Ammannur Chachuchakyar Samaraka Gurukulam at Irinjalakkuda as Chutty artist.

The state museum was started in 1885 by Diwan Peshkar Sankarayyah of Kochi state. Now it houses a Multipurpose Museum, Art museum, Reptile house, Zoological garden, 3D theatre etc. (Visiting hours: 10am- 4.45pm, Closed on Mondays and Wednesday forenoon).

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