Kalamezhuthu: An Evidence Of Art Mixed In Every Heritage And Tradition Of The Country

  • Team Mojarto

Decorating their homes is one of the most important routines in the domestic households of the country. People decorate their homes with rangolis, kolams or mango leaves strung together. It is seen as both decorative and ritualistic. Rangolis and kolams decorate and grace the entrances with their patterns and colours. It adds more fervour to the festivities.

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By SKsiddhartthan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, 

Kalamezhuthu is a unique art form found and practised in Kerala. The word kalamezhuthu is derived from the two words ‘kalam’ which means picture and ‘ezhuthu’ which means drawing. Literally, it means drawing pictures. Pictures of gods and goddesses become the central theme of the art. The pictorial representation of deities is done using coloured powders. This art form is a ritualistic art commonly drawn at the entrance of temples and royal households. It is believed that the drawing is done to welcome gods into the temple.

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Image credit- By Ranjith A v – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Deities like Bhagavati, Kali and Ayappa occupies the central place in kalamezhuthu. The ritualistic art is accompanied by a chant sung for about 15 minutes before beginning the drawing. The drawing is done on the floor, which is the ideal concept behind the art form. The artform considers the whole planet its canvas. Originally Kalamezhuthu uses coloured powders derived from natural sources like charcoals, turmeric, leaves and rice. Colours derived from natural products are white from rice, black from charcoal, yellow from turmeric, green from leaves and red by mixing lime and yellow.

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The art is a three-dimensional picture done with bare hands without any tools. There is an effective rendition of eyes, nose and ornaments. The deities are mostly depicted to be in anger or ugram. They are also mostly seen to carry their weapons to emphasise aggression. This traditional art form has survived time and is still flourishing in Kerala.