Arts of the Nila
On Day 3 of #SeekingNila the participants further explored the Olappamanna Mana and the Museum in the building complex. Later that day they visited the workshop of Shri.Ramankutty who is a master craftsman creating the headgear used by Kathakali, the renowned artform of Kerala. The headgear known as the ‘kiritam’ is carved from the light yet sturdy wood of the Kumizhu / Beechwood and weighs only around 450 grams ! This supple wood also allows for easy engraving of motifs and designs. Both the kiritam and the assortment of wooden ornaments worn by the performers are intricately carved and embellished with pieces of glass, stones, gold and silver foils, velvet, beads, paper and peacock feathers.
On their visit to workshop the the participants got to try their hands at some woodworking to understand the precision, skill and hard labour that goes into creating these artistic pieces. There was silence and deep concentration as wood was chipped and chiselled ! There was also sketching, impression making, taking notes and lots of interaction with the master craftsman.
After all the hard work, the participants were treated to evening of laughter and mirth with an Ottamthullal performance by Suresh Kaliyath. In Ottamthullal, a solo performer, with green makeup and a colourful costume (decorated with a long red and white band and painted wooden ornaments), acts and dances while reciting lyrics. A chorus or one artist or more, repeats each sentence as it is completed. Ottamthullal is also called a poor man’s Kathakali and is used many a times to address societal issues. The headgear worn by the Thullal artist was handcrafted by Shri.Ramankutty who also came to watch the programme.
Take a look at what we have captured in our pictures !