The Kerala Folklore Musuem at Thevara is a privately run museum that is a labor of love. It is difficult to believe that this dazzling repository of the cultural artifacts of Kerala is the work of one dedicated individual. It’s not just the range of the exhibits that stuns but the well-designed surroundings in which they are housed; the floors, doors, windows, and staircases, for example, are entirely made of fine wood. The wooden building itself is eye-catching and has great aesthetic impact; it’s an exhibit in its own right. I think the building must have been constructed using parts of ancient traditional Kerala mansions whose owners could no longer afford the expense of maintaining the palatial buildings. The top floor of the museum features a beautiful performing space with a wooden ceiling decorated with exquisite temple mural art that weighs over a ton (the guide told me the weight, but I forget the exact figure). The most distinguished visitor the museum has had is probably the Prince of Wales.
At the museum, these masks caught my eye. I’ve heard of face reading, but face writing? Well, one lives and learns.
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