Kerala Folklore
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FolkCrafts of Kerala

Folk crafts in Kerala, India, are an integral part of the state's cultural heritage. Kerala, located on the southwestern coast of India, is renowned for its rich artistic traditions and craftsmanship. The diverse landscape, abundant natural resources, and the influence of various cultures over the centuries have contributed to the development of a wide range of folk crafts in the region. Here are some of the most prominent folk crafts of Kerala: Coir Craft: Kerala is famous for its coir products made from the fibrous husk of coconut. Coir craft includes the production of mats, carpets, ropes, and various decorative items. Skilled artisans skillfully extract coir fibers, dye them in vibrant colors, and weave them into intricate designs. Alappuzha (Alleppey) is a prominent hub for coir craft in Kerala. Wood Carving: Wood carving is a traditional craft in Kerala, with a rich history dating back centuries. Artisans intricately carve wood to create exquisite sculptures, panels, furniture, and decorative items. The art form is often associated with temples and palaces, and many artisans continue to practice this craft in places like Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur. Metal Craft: Kerala's metal craft involves the creation of bell metal and brass items. Skilled craftsmen use a combination of casting, molding, and shaping techniques to produce utensils, lamps, and traditional items used in religious ceremonies. The town of Mannar in Alappuzha district is renowned for its bell metal craft. Handloom Weaving: Handloom weaving is a vital traditional craft in Kerala, with different regions specializing in distinct weaving styles and designs. Kasaragod district is known for its colorful Kasaragod sarees, while Balaramapuram near Thiruvananthapuram is famous for its fine cotton handloom fabrics. Pottery: Pottery has been an essential craft in Kerala for centuries. Artisans skillfully shape clay to create a variety of utilitarian and decorative items such as pots, vases, lamps, and figurines. The village of Ochira in Kollam district is well-known for its unique style of pottery. Kathakali Masks: Kathakali, a classical dance-drama of Kerala, requires elaborate facial makeup and masks to depict different characters. Skilled artists create Kathakali masks from wood, using vibrant colors and intricate detailing to bring the characters to life. Kasavu Sarees: Kasavu sarees are a traditional attire of Kerala. These sarees have a distinctive off-white or cream-colored body with golden borders. The golden borders are typically made using zari, a type of metallic thread. Kasavu sarees are widely worn during festivals and special occasions. Aranmula Kannadi: Aranmula Kannadi is a unique metal mirror crafted in Aranmula, Kerala. It is made from a special alloy of metal and has a highly polished surface. Unlike regular mirrors, which use glass, these mirrors have a reflective metal surface that produces a distortion-free reflection. These folk crafts are not only an expression of Kerala's artistic excellence but also play a crucial role in the livelihoods of numerous artisans and craftspeople across the state. Over the years, various governmental and non-governmental initiatives have been taken to preserve and promote these traditional crafts, ensuring that they continue to thrive and contribute to Kerala's cultural legacy.