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Art and Craft

Indian Art and Craft – Kalamezhuthu Paattu

Indian Art and Craft – Kalamezhuthu Paattu

Kalamezhuthu Paattu is a unique art form found in Kerala. It is a part of rituals practiced in temples. The representation of deities like Bhadrakaali, Ayyappa, Vettekkaran etc. are made on the floor using natural pigments and powders. Normally five colours Red, Green, Black, Yellow and White are used for this.


The drawings are made with bare hands. There are no tools or brushes used for this purpose. Starting from the centre, the pictures are developed growing outwards in patches. Using the thumb and the index fingers the powder is spread on the floor in a thin stream.

Anger and other emotions can be seen in the figures drawn for the Kalamezhuthu Paattu depending upon the diety represented in the figure.

The artists normally are from communities like Kurup, Theyyampadi Nambiar, Theeyadi Nambiar, Theeyadi Unni.

Instruments like Ilathaalam (cymbals), Veekkan Chenda (Indian drum – untuned), Kuzhal, Kombu and Chenda (Indian drum – tuned) are the musical instruments used. Ritual songs accompanied by these instruments are sung in praise of the diety after completing the Kalam. The artists only sing the songs.

Kalamezhuthu is a forty-day ritual beginning with the first day of Vrishchikam (Scorpio) say around 16-17th of November. This ritual is mainly done in Bhagavathy Temples but also done at home as well in some cases. It is usually done as an offering by devotees.

Velichappadu will be doing the Kalapradakshinam (circling the Kalam with different steps and rhythms) along and the Kalam is erased immediately after finishing the rituals.

Pictures and video used for illustration only. Video Courtesy: WEVA TV

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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