Kerala Craft Products

Like humans elsewhere Kerala also had many skilled artisans who made craft products from different materials. They used ivory, wood (particularly rosewood), metals, cane, grass and granite to make products that were both beautiful and utilitarian.

Brass pot The brass pot pictured right was made of brass that could be polished to shine like gold. This pot, filled with water, was placed at spots where water had to be poured. For example, you might find it at the portico of a house to wash one's muddy feet before stepping into the house. Brass was also used for making decorative lamps, drinking glasses and other utensils.

Ivory was carved into images of gods and goddesses. Gold and silver were transformed into necklaces, bangles, waste-belts, anklets and other kinds of ornaments.

Wood was used to carve elephants, gods and goddesses and different kinds of furniture items. We look at the kinds of furniture used in an earlier period in the essay on Antique furniture of Kerala.

Cane was a material for making chairs of different kinds, swings and even walking sticks. Grass was woven into mats while bamboo was the raw material for baskets and other articles.

Stoneworks included statues, lamp pillars, food processors like grain pounders, grinders and paste makers. See the article on Kerala cookery to view pics of some equipment.