Rosewood and other Wood Carving of Kerala

Rosewood and other Wood Carving of Kerala

Wood-carving, especially rose wood carving is found concentrated mainly in Trivandrum and Trichur, with Ernakulam and Cochin being the next most important centres. Isolated carving units are located even in the interior villages. The main products made are rose wood elephants, varying in size from 1 inch to 32 inches, figures of animals like the rhinoceros, tiger, camel, and horse, figures of Buddha and Christ, Kathakali dancers, and men and women in traditional costume. Rose wood paras or measuring drums are made along with nettur boxes. Thrissur is also renowned for its ivory carving; with the ban on ivory these craftsmen transferred their skills to the variety of tropical wood available in the region - primarily white cedar, teak and rosewood. The chief products made today are animal figurines, especially that of the elephant, the beast that predominantly features in the religious practices of the region. The sculptures range from figures that are 10 inches tall to others that are lifesize. The same animal is represented in a number of poses; the realism of the carving, the detailing of the body and the graceful contours, all revealing the proficiency of the craftsmen. In addition to these products targeted largely at the sizeable non-resident Malayali community, the craftsmen also create elaborately carved doors, windows, pillars as well as idols of deities.

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