They call Kerala God’s Own Country, a place that enjoys the best of both worlds! Breathtaking landscapes and finger-licking cuisine made with native spices make Kerala a blessed place on the earth. The spices made travelers and traders from around the world come and settle down here during the earlier days. Kerala Handicraft too is an amazing reason to visit this beautiful land of coconuts and beaches. Here are 8 such items that are made exclusively in Kerala:
Photo by Rajesh’
If you thought mirror can only be made of glass, Aranmula Kannadi will defy that myth! In Aranmula, a small town near Trivandrum, the Viswakarma family is engaged in making handmade mirrors out of metal alloys. What metals are mixed remain a well-guarded secret by the family. This mirror is a prized possession for women.
Onavillu is made of a jack wood, kadambu or muruthu with half inch thickness tapering on each side. As the name suggests, it is a bow-shaped wooden plank with epic paintings done using organic vegetable colors. It comes in different sizes with different paintings such as Ananthashayanam, Dasavatharam, Srirama Pattabhishekam or Sree Krishna Leela. This is a family tradition of handcrafting these beautiful pieces of art which they do during the Onam time. Hence the name Onavillu!
Photo by kdinuraj
Kerala’s brass lamps are considered the most elegant and beautiful. The tradition of lighting a brass lamp in the evening is still continued in the Hindu households of Kerala. Though there are machine-made lamps available in the stores, the handmade ones can be easily identified with the weight and make. The brass lamps are a popular Kerala Handicraft Item frequently bought by tourists. There are many types of Ottuvilakku like Thukkuvilakku and Kuthuvilaku. Ottuvilakku is even kept in some Churches and mosques in Kerala.
Photo by Haridas Pangayil1
The people of Kerala love gold and golden color so much that they even use it color to decorate elephants. The Nettipattom or the Elephant’s ornament is traditionally made of brass. The elephant is an integral part of all temple festivals and processions in Kerala. Nettipattom is the ornament which is kept on the forehead of elephants. It is crafted in gold by skilled artisans. Three and a half kgs of copper and three sovereigns of gold get into the making of Nettipattom. It takes a minimum of 20 days to craft the beautiful Nettipattom. This beautiful Kerala handicraft is available in many sizes.
Coconut Shell Handicraft
Photo by jetalone
Kerala is known as the land of coconuts and coconut shell handicrafts are very popular among tourists who visit here. Tourists looking for exclusive Kerala handicraft can buy lamps, plates, teapots, flower vase and other figurines made of coconut shell. These are quite tough and does not break easily.
Photo by Muraleekrishna G
Kerala mural paintings are very famous frescos depicting mythology and legends. Mural paintings are drawn in walls of temples and churches in Kerala. Mural paintings were famous during the royal patronage. Nowadays, they are being used to adorn the walls and dresses too! Only natural colors are used for mural paintings.
Uru is the traditional wooden boat used by Arabians for trading. When Arabians knew that Kerala’s timber is solid and craftsmen are good, they shifted their Uru work to Malabar. Beypore is famous for Uru making. Many big Arab businessmen still order the Uru from Beypore’s craftsmen. It takes around 4 years with 50 or more people working together to make it. Small size Uru is made as a Kerala Handicraft which people buy as a showpiece or gift.
Photo by Robbie1
Spices have always played an important role in Kerala’s economy. Kerala spices are the most liked around the world. Kerala is the largest exporter of spices in India. Spices like cardamom, turmeric, pepper, cinnamon, and ginger are very common in Kerala. These are basically used to make the food tasty, for flavor and to garnish. They are also used to make perfumes and handicrafts. Kerala Spices have a special market all over the world. Even though spices are not a part of Kerala Handicraft, the spice boxes made of wood is definitely one which people buy to preserve these spices longer and to gift their loved ones.
Featured Photo by Sudheesh S