Minukku vesham in Kathakali

Portrait of a Kathakali performer in Minukku vesham
Minukku vesham in Kathakali | Trivandrum, Kerala, India

‘Minukku’ is one of the five Veshams or types of make-up in Kathakali. It is used to represent women and sages. Traditionally, Kathakali being a predominantly male performance, the female characters are also performed by men. This Vesham is used to represent gentleness and a high spiritual standing and is characterised with yellow facial paint.

Read more: Kathakali | Kathakali Make-up

78 Replies to “Minukku vesham in Kathakali”

  1. Beautiful capture, Joshi. Love how you captured the performer. Great illumination of the face. He looks like he’s lost in a moment, thinking nothing about the performance :)

  2. Minikku vesham! Love that term. So right for the make up of those female characters.
    Superb picture, Joshi.

  3. Lovely Click…. But somehow… I love your black and WHite clicks of people and faces more…..Ofcourse this would not really categorise in black and white….NEvertheless awesome job

  4. Beautiful shot, as usual, and a very interesting subject.

    I take it that the execution of a performance might be like the traditional presentation of a Shakespeare play, which is a source of controversy for many women around the world. If there is some similarity to Shakespeare, how do Indian women see this art? I guess that before that question can be answered, it must be asked why are the performances predominantly male? By saying it is predominantly male, there is the suggestion that women do have some part in the production of a performance. If so, do they regard the art as sexist? Do they regard the depictions of women as realistic, insulting or somewhere in between?

    By comparison, feminists worldwide still perform Shakespeare plays today with the full knowledge that in Willie’s day, they were completely denied from acting in plays as Willie assumed that women are intellectually incapable of performing drama; and he never lived long enough to realize how wrong and offensive he was with that notion.

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