Southern India

Images of Southern India

This is Kerala.

These are powders that can be used as dyes. They are always displayed in this way in the southern part of India. This was taken in the main market in Mysore, which is considered to be one of the best and most colorful markets in the region.

This is a scene from a Kathakali drama, one of India's most spectacular dance styles. This form of dance-drama is only done in Kerala, and the performances in the town of Cochin are considered the best.

Traditionally, the drama will be performed all night long and includes tales from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, India's two epic myths, but now, such performances are rare and visitors usually have to go to see an introductory show which offers only one or two scenes.

The costumes and make-up are incredibly elaborate. It takes the dancers nearly an hour to make up and dress.

I was very lucky when I was in Cochin, and I was given tickets to a traditional all-night performance. This particular troupe performs the whole drama just once or twice a year.

From this scene, you can see clearly that in Kathakali, all the performers are male, regardless of the role!

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All text and photographs Copyright (c) 2001 Naomi S. Smith

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