The domain of Kathakali is peopled by super-humans, Gods, demons & animals who are presented in a larger than life format. What strikes the spectator first & most is the splendour of the costumes, ornaments & facial make-up which transform the actor-dancer into a type rather than a particular character. A character can be identified by the colour he sports. Symbolic masks of many hued rice paste are painted onto each face, light green for the valour, poise & virtue of heroes. Scarlet symbols on green for lust & greed The head dress is a towering pagoda like crown with an enormous jewelled halo. The full sleeved jackets are adorned with ornaments. A many layered skirt of white cloth completes the fantastic ensemble. The dance is accompanied by the drums & chanting by the singer. It takes years for a novice to graduate into an actor. Seven years of full-time practice under a meticulous teacher is the minimum called for. But to make an accomplished actor able to portray versatality, it takes many more years.

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