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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Kathakali Kathakali, literally meaning ‘story-play’, is a dance-drama originated in the 17th century in Kerala, one of the smallest states in India lying on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. Driver of chariot, 2.

Two Chuttipuvus flower-like white knobs are created on the face. This involves the whole body of the actor and included an elaborate scheme of facial expression, mime, and gestures, accompanied by mudrae appropriate movements, poses and attitudes.

Drums beat becomes at top kathakall. The costumes of Kathakali have resemblance with the costumes of Koodiyaattam and Chakyaarkooth. Information about the instrument called Chenda.

Length of the eye, 5. There are 11 double hand symbols and 9 single hand symbols using this Mudra. Anjaly Folded hands in Salutation Kathakali is woven on the story of Lord Rama as against Krishnaattam woven on the story of Lord Krishna.

Kathakali Mudras

This is a complicated and meticulous make-up. Make-up in Kathakali Make-up is a highly reckoning factor in Kathakali. Chaakyaaar Koothu is an art worshipping folk dance staged in temples alone. The audience chances upon the upper portion of the headgear of the hero. It was one of the Rajas Chieftain of Kottarakkara, who wrote the first play intended for Kathakali performance.


Red Taadi make-up is for mild evil characters like Sugriva, Baali etc. Considering all these Mudras and their seperations there are totally symbols used in Kathakali. In front of, 7.

There are 16 double hand symbols and 10 single hand symbols using this Mudra. Kummi This is preamble of female characters appearance. Ears of cow, 4. Voicing the rich cultural and traditional heritage of Kerala.

After the face work is over, the performer wears costume. Which one Double hand symbols: On the forehead and nose tip Chuttipuvus flower-like white knobs in larger size than for any other characters are also shown. The colourful faces are the results of hours of painstaking handiwork by expert artists.

Most of the ornaments donning kathzkali character are made in this fashion too.

kathakali mudras

Upper portion of the forehead is covered with a red ribbon attached the headgear. These songs are explained and interpreted in details by actors through an elaborate method of angikabhinaya, which consists of highly codified gestures, facial expression, and body movements.

Tiranokku The anti-hero drops the curtain and the hero is exposed in full view. There are 24 Basic Mudras hand gestures in the “Hasthalakshana Deepika”, the book of hand gestures, which Kathakali is followed. Happiness and comfort, The actors stand behind the curtain.

The communication among the characters and to the audience is through an intricate language of hand gestures, used in combination with facial expression and body movements. Make-up is a highly reckoning factor in Kathakali. Tortoise Double hand symbols: The musicians numbering minimum four and maximum 12 go into their job bare-chested and standing behind the actors in half circle format. Ravana, Keechaka, Dussassana and the like fall in this category. Hamsaasyam Swan’s peek 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.


Kalaaasam is pure Thaandava style dance. The music plays cardinal role in Kathakali. HamsaPaksham Swan’s wing 9.

The regulated movement of eyes conceives expressions. Two protruded canine teeth over lover lips on either end of the mouth are shown for demonic characters. One who practices Yoga, meditation, 5. Fingers of the character left hand fingers covered with long thimbles rise in the centre of the curtain.

Using this can show the symbols like oppose, Stop!! Male performer ties a small woolen cloth above the anklet and ties bells fixed on a leather pad below the knee. This over, he wears well-starched and pleated skirt followed by a jacket. Kathakali is a harmonious combination of five forms of fine art: Two oval shaped red spots — one each on forehead and nose tip — complete the Kathakalk Taadi.