India | Kerala

Mohiniyattam Costume

Mohiniyattam, a traditional dance of Kerala, is known for its grace and beauty. The word ‘mohiniyattam’ literally means ‘dance of the enchantress.’ This is exhibited by the costume, which is white in color with a golden colored border.

The costume in Mohiniyattam dance comprises of a white ‘kasavu’ saree, a decorated blouse and a waist garment. The edges are embellished with golden fabric. The makeup is simple. The face is treated with yellow and pink colored paste. The eyes are given a lining of black color. The lips are reddened. The hair is tied up and adorned with jasmine flowers.

Mohiniyattam is marked by its use of gold jewelry. The ornament consists of necklaces, ‘vanki’ (armband), ‘odinayanan’ (waistband), nose stud and ‘jhumiki’ (swinging ear ornaments). Necklaces are basically of two type: ‘mangamalai’ and ‘Kasumalai’. The ‘mangamalai’ is made by linking together gem studded mango shaped pieces. The ‘kasumalai’ is made by attaching gold coins together. The pendants for the necklaces are shaped like swans, peacocks and parrots.

Updated on 18th February, 2016


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