The very mention of the word, ‘Kerala’, brings to me, visuals of coffee and spice plantations, the breathtakingly beautiful backwaters and palm-lined trees. Now, I mention the next best thing and that is food, of course! Having gorged on deliciousness from this state since childhood, it holds a special place in my heart. (Read on about what we wrote in an earlier post). However, apart from the cuisine, a Kerala-inspired home, always leaves me speechless. So, a bit more about it.
What is Kerala known for?
Kerala offers dance, music, literature, cinema, architecture, crafts…and more! Tourists who visit ‘God’s own country’, leave with memories and souvenirs, making them want to come back at some point and in between visits, create an environment at home, to mimic this beautiful state. Like me, if you like your home to reflect a deep love for handmade crafts, here are some inspirations and ‘pieces of art’ to create that Kerala ‘inspired’ home. Read away:
The Nettur Petti, Aranmula Kannadi, Prabhavali and the Vilakkus
The Nettur Petti, or the Kerala jewellery box is a stunning artefact made of rosewood and embellished with intricate brass features reminiscent of temple architecture. It has seen a revival of sorts in recent times, all thanks to the efforts of craftsman VV Suresh Kumar. His products can be found on Travankore, the Bengaluru based online store, for all things that bring Kerala to your home.
The exclusive Aranmula Kannadi is a mirror made of a medley of metal alloys and not glass. The uniqueness of its construction has been kept a closely guarded secret and is only known to four families in Aranmula. Its elusive charm has found it a place in the British Museum, where a 45 centimeter tall Aranmula mirror can be found.
A Prabhavali is basically the arch surrounding an icon of the Creator. You will typically find them surrounding deities in temples. Find beautiful pieces at The Indian Weave, an online store, founded in collaboration with India’s finest artisans. Connect with Chandan Dubey, a Mumbai based artist creating beautiful pieces, and have a peep at her Prabhavali collection.
The Vilakkus and the Chundam Vallam or snake boat models
The Nilavilakku and the Kuthuvilakku are the traditional oil lamps of Kerala. In addition to their religious significance, they help in adding a traditional touch to your home decor.
The Chundam Vallam or the snake boat is a traditional boat used in the Vallamkali or boat games during Onam. Get a miniature piece and use it on the dining table with tea lights or fix it on the wall and place some plants on it. Let your imagination take wings!
Kerala Mural Paintings
The Kerala mural paintings need no introduction. They were the fresco paintings depicting mythology and legends, painted on walls of temples and churches. Get one in your home, or have it painted on canvas. Contact online: Prince Thonnakkal of Midhila murals. Click here to contact Naveen Bhaskaran from Kerala Murals.
Did you know that the Aranmula Kannadi finds a mention in the ancient Indian texts, ‘The Puranas’, where it is described as the mirror of Goddess Parvathi? There is so much more trivia that I could add, but I will save that for the next time.
It is absolutely fascinating to learn about cultures, folklore and traditions. Maybe, bring them into your home as conversation starters! Sometimes, shopping (or even window shopping or browsing) takes you to places you’ve never known and things you have never seen before. Doesn’t it?
So, learn something new everyday! Be Notjustashopper.