Kalaripayattu-the oldest of martial arts-is a gift to the modern world and known as the mother of all martial arts. legend traces the 3000-year old art form to sage Parasurama-the master of all martial art forms and credited to be the re-claimer of Kerala from the arabian sea. Kalaripayattu originated in ancient south India. Kung-fu, popularized by the monks of the shaoline temple traces its ancestry to Bodhi Dharma-an Indian Buddhist monk and Kalaripayattu master.
Legend: Shiva the Great Yogi who dwell on Mount Kailasa in the high Himalayas, deep in the dhyana meditation,was said to have taught Parasurama the art of Kalaripayattu. Parasurama taught his 21 desciples (all Brahmins themselves) the art of Kalari payat.it was created by the warrior saint parasurama,an incarnation of lord Vishnu,by throwing his axe into sea which receded till the point where it fell.Parasurama then established forty two kalari and taught twenty one masters of these kalaris to protect the land he created.
Kathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in the world. It originated in the areaof southwestern India now known as the state of Kerala. Kathakali is a group presentation, in which dancers take various roles in performances traditionally based on themes from Hindu mythology, especially the two epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.One of the most interesting aspects of Kathakali is its elaborate make-up code. Characters are categorized according to their nature.
This determines the colours used in the make-up. The faces of noble male characters, such as virtuous kings, the divine hero Rama, etc., are predominantly green. Characters of high birth who have an evil streak, such as the demon king Ravana, are allotted a similar green make-up, slashed with red kathakali-3marks on the cheeks. Extremely angry or excessively evil characters wear predominantly red make-up and a flowing red beard. Forest dwellers such as hunters are represented with a predominantly black make-up base. Women and ascetics have lustrous, yellowish faces.
The technique of Kathakali includes a highly developed language of gesture, through which the artist can convey whole sentences and stories. The body movements and footwork are very rigourous. To attain the high degree of flexibility and muscle control required for this art, a Kathakali dancer undergoes a strenuous course of training, and special periods of body massage.
The dancers wear large head dresses, and the contours of the face are extended with moulded lime. The extraordinary costumes and make-up serve to raise the participants above the level of mere mortals, so that they may transport the audience to a world of wonders.