Bronze statue with a greenish patina representing a Khatakali dancer, dressed with the typical outfit and wearing a bludgeon and a chestplate. The emphasized movements of the eyes, typical for this scenic art, are shown very bulging. Big pointed headdress, circular gown with coat tails, rings at the ankles. The bronze is oxidised, showing nice traces of green cuprite as a sign of its true age. Excellent state of preservation.
Katakali is the name given to the danced theatre in the Kerala area (Southern India). Originating from the old Sanskrit (Kudiyattam) and the ritual dances of Hindu temples, it developed mainly at the beginning of the AD 17th cent, showing gods, heroes and devils from the big epic Hindu sagas, e.g. Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dramatic intensity of this show is enhanced by the rhythmic and strong sound made by the percussions Chanda and Maddalam, as well as the use of a theatrical make-up and exuberant costumes. The Khatakali has been passed on inside an exclusively masculine artist caste, whose occupation is to play masculine characters throughout their lives.