Kathakali, the classical dance-drama of Kerala, is based on mythological themes. Kathakali is known to draw in the viewer with its vibrant costumes and subtle movements. The makeup in Kathakali is extremely important as it accentuates and provides context on the entire performance. The colours and shades are precise and symbolic.
It takes nearly three to four hours to complete the make-up which is done in three stages, and the duration varies according to the character and complexity of the costume.Theppu is the first stage where the artiste himself applies the basic facial paintings. After this the Chuttikkaran (make-up man) puts the Chutti which forms the second stage of make-up. The Chutti plays a crucial role in differentiating the characters and their personality. Uduthukettu is the third stage in dressing. Stiff tapes of white cloth are wound around the waist, with the help of others and are bound together with another piece of cloth, the Kacha. The anklets, colourful and ornate vests, jewellery and the huge headgear complete the Kathakali costume.
The video below will help you gain a better understanding of the same.