Kathakali make-up

A kathakali artist doing make-up
Kathakali make-up | Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Kathakali has a very elaborate make-up. The make-up can be mostly classified into five types namely Pacha (Green), Kathi (Knife), Kari (Black), Thadi (Beard) and Minukku (Prettying Up). Pacha portrays noble protagonists, Kathi portrays villainous characters, Kari is used for lady-demons, Vella Thadi (White Beard) is used for super human characters like Hanuman (the Monkey God), Chuvanna Thadi (Red Beard) for evil characters, Karutha Thadi (Black Beard) for the hunter and the Minukku vesham is used for female characters and sages.

Read more: Kathakali

101 Replies to “Kathakali make-up”

  1. ooh i like this one .. the tone .. the info …. lighting and shadow is so cool … well done
    btw he seems to be so engrossed in the act of getting it done perfectly

  2. Oh, such a beautiful light in this photo! Love the composition and those beautiful colors. He’s really working very concentrated on his make-up.

  3. He is very concentrated :)

    A beautifull photo,nice make-up and a wonderfull lightning.

    Thanks for links and info .

    Have a nice day.Here in Norway is cold summer:)

  4. thats cool… but i feel that
    “camera thoda niche liya hota to it will look good… i mean uski aakhe dikhni chahiye thi… ” baki you are best photographer…… :D :)

  5. excellent – whats your camera?

    i use a canon dslr350d and in low light conditions, such as this, i get a yellow hue. any ideas on how to get the real colours. I made a student documentary about 12 years back on kathakali and those days I had a manual russian camera called Kiev, damn heavy, but what pictures!! not getting the same thing with digital! your thoughts on this? maybe i am not using it well.

  6. Nice light captured there.

    That’s a wonderful art form. This shot shows much goes into the make-up only. One of the most important part of the dance I think.

    Keep it up.

  7. What a lighting ! Superb framing and colors and attitude and… everything ! Really enjoy it. And thanks for the caption too, very interesting, Joshi*

  8. Fantastic photography and nice information. Its amazing to see you top the indivine list often. Keep the good work. Thanks for sharing

  9. Amazing the intricate details in this makeup. A fascinating and interesting portrait. Like to see such traditions and customs in other countries. Excellent job capturing this art form.

  10. That’s very interesting, this is an amazing art form. Incredible how these people are able to paint their own faces with such detail and significance. That green color is so wonderful, I wonder how this paint is being made. I imagine with pure natural materials. Nice photo Joshi!!

  11. wow i didnt know that they do paint their faces by themselves…how talented and accurate they have to be!!!the intensity of the artist is well captured!!!

  12. He does look menacing as a villain could be. Have to second a few here, the textures, angle, color, and light make it a very appealing image.

  13. Wonderfull and im spechless. Is there anybody can donate this make up and costum for a beautiful photography. I wish i can donate one on my self when im coming down to Kerala.

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