The backwaters and the evening sky, vallomkali (boat race), village fairs and festivals, huts and hamlets, hills and valleys... all the spellbinding sights of Kerala are captured and given life in straw art. This peculiar craft of pasting straw cut to different sizes on cloth or canvas to create images is called vaikkol chritrangal (straw pictures).
A popular cottage industry, straw pictures find a good market during festivals like Onam, Christmas, New Year etc. in the form of greeting cards. These greeting cards are comparatively less expensive than others in the market.
The vaikkol (hay) craftsmen are mostly villagers. Hence the simplicity of the villager, his thinking and aesthetic sense is very much reflected in these pictures. Huge wall hangings sometimes made even two dimensionally are also available. These finely crafted works of art, the elegant and innovative straw pictures, are available throughout the year in handicraft emporia all over the State.