Kerala has a rich cultural heritage and the same finds reflection in it’s handlooms and traditional articles. For those who love traditional artifacts, there’s plenty of articles to choose from the exotic Malayali culture both for oneself and for your loved ones as gifts. Planning the next gift for a house warming or wedding? Choose a gift that is rich in Indian culture and something that comes with a story of its own and it will a gift with a difference. The gorgeous land of Kerala has in its treasure few beautiful pieces of handlooms, sculptures and antiques. Want to explore few of these? Read on.
1. Kathakali showpieces
One common motif that one finds in almost all the Malayali household is the mask of the Kathakali dancer steeped in colors and multiple designs. You can purchase the Kathakali heads made in different materials like the coir, plastic and even wood. While the wooden version is in the base colors of black and brown and golden, the other versions have multiple colors and tthe look is very close to the real face.
2. Fibre Handicrafts
As there is plenty of coconut coir available in the state, the amount of articles made with it abounds in creativity as well as use. There are sofas and chairs, figurines, handbags, caskets and many more that are much popular as show pieces in the Malayali household and can be one of the best gifts for a housewarming.
3. Wooden statues and figurines
There is a variety of wood found in the region and so you will find the best of the articles intricately carved in varieties like rosewood, sandalwood and teak. The most popular figure is the elephant while other temple motifs also make the most eye catching showcase pieces. There are caskets, furniture and houseboats are plenty of popular articles.
While lamps are an indispensible part of the Hindu household, the Malayalis have a different kind of lamp used in the houses as well as temples. The Nilavilakku is the symbol of auspiciousness and good will and that’s the reason this is every Malayali’s favorite gift for house warming ceremonies.
5. Kasavu Sari/Mundu
The Kerala women’s Kasavu saree is one of the most popular varieties of saree in the country. Even amongst the Hindi speakers, the saree is much adored among the women and is a popular gift for the women folk. There are plenty of varieties to choose from traditional to modern with each variety adding beauty to one’s persona. It’s an apt gift for a person’s birthday or wedding. This is one of the few gifts that have a great personal touch to it.
The Malayalis are extremely fond of jewelry and hence the varieties are aplenty. Gift your loved ones with one of the exotic varieties from full gold or gold plated ones. Even the imitation jewelries are rich in variety and designs and have popular motifs like peacock, Krishna and the Kathakali. The traditional coin necklace and the Palakka necklace are a hot favorite in jewelry gifting.
7. Heritage article- Aranmula Kannadi
One of the most sought after article is traditional artifact is the Aranmula Kannadi which is an intricately carved metal mirror hold is a symbol of class and tradition. It is a rare article among the Malayalis and is a priced possession. There are different varieties of the mirror designs and each one is artistically created.
8. Heritage article- Nettoor Casket
The Nettur casket is a wooden casket usually made of teak and is adorned with brass carvings. It is basically a box to keep jewelry but in the modern times, it is used as a showpiece. The antique pieces are expensive while nowadays there are cheaper varieties available in the handicraft stores. For a lover of antique and classy articles, this is an apt gift.
9. Kerala Mural Paintings
Amongst the traditional paintings, Kerala mural art is immensely popular even in the Hindi speaking region. There are beautiful paintings which are equal to stories narrated in colors. For the purpose of home decoration, this is an awesome gift that will stand out amongst others.
10. Snake Boat Showpieces
One of the symbolic representations of the beauty of Kerala is the snake boat model. The artistically carved out wooden models of snake boats are a representation of the boat race held in Aleppey every year. There are different adornments like the ivory fittings, brass embellishments and more. Though these are available in different sizes, for the purpose of gifting, one should opt for a size that will fit in the showcase.
11. Perfumes and Oils
The scents of nature are irresistible and perhaps you cannot buy better scents in the country than from Kerala. The sandalwood scent and the Jasmine are among the most popular ones. In oils, there are massage oils and pain relief oils to be purchased from the Ayurvedic dealers many of which are available online now-a-days. The most prized variety amongst these is the sandalwood perfume which is original sandalwood extract from the forests.
12. Nettipattam showpieces
The elephant is a symbol of auspiciousness and grandiosity in the Malayali culture. From the Guruvayoor temple and the Vadakunnathan temple stems the stories of the elephant’s divine connection. As the Thrissur pooram is a crucial cultural extravaganza, the motif of the adorned elephant is much popular. The elephant with the Nettipattam and colorful umbrella is a sight to behold. The motif is a popular piece often used as a hanging in the car, key chains and even office tables. The indigenous Kerala traditional items are no longer restricted to the local shops. All the articles are now available to be purchased online without the quality being compromised.