Handicrafts from Coconut Shells: Kerala’s Artistic Resourcefulness

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage


Kerala, often referred to as “God’s Own Country,” is not only known for its picturesque landscapes and serene backwaters but also for its rich cultural heritage. One of the lesser-known aspects of Kerala’s cultural wealth is its thriving tradition of coconut shell handicrafts. The creative use of coconut shells in crafting a variety of items, including lampshades, bowls, and utensils, reflects the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Kerala’s artisans. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of coconut shell handicrafts in Kerala.

The Versatile Coconut Shell

Coconut trees are abundant in Kerala, and the state is a major producer of coconuts in India. The coconut palm is often referred to as the “tree of life” due to the multitude of uses its various parts offer. While the coconut fruit itself is widely used in Kerala’s cuisine, the hard and sturdy coconut shells are also put to innovative use.

Creating Lampshades with Elegance

One of the most exquisite forms of coconut shell handicrafts in Kerala is the crafting of lampshades. Artisans carefully cut, carve, and shape coconut shells into intricate designs, transforming them into beautiful lampshades. These lampshades are not only functional but also serve as works of art that add a touch of elegance to any space.

The process of making coconut shell lampshades involves several steps. First, the coconut shell is cleaned and dried thoroughly. Then, skilled artisans draw the desired design on the shell, meticulously carving it using traditional tools. The translucent quality of coconut shells allows the light to filter through, creating a warm and inviting ambiance when the lamp is lit.

Bowls and Utensils: Sustainable and Aesthetic

Apart from lampshades, coconut shells are also used to craft bowls and utensils. These eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to plastic and metal utensils have gained popularity not only in Kerala but also around the world. Coconut shell bowls and utensils are not only visually appealing but also practical.

Artisans carve and shape coconut shells into various forms, creating bowls of different sizes and shapes. These bowls are perfect for serving food, snacks, or as decorative pieces in homes. Coconut shell utensils, such as spoons and ladles, are not only functional but also add a rustic charm to any kitchen.

Preserving Tradition and Empowering Artisans

The tradition of coconut shell handicrafts has been passed down through generations in Kerala. Local artisans take great pride in their work and are committed to preserving this heritage. Many cooperatives and organizations support these artisans by providing them with a platform to showcase and sell their products.

By purchasing coconut shell handicrafts, you not only acquire unique and environmentally-friendly pieces but also contribute to the livelihoods of skilled artisans and the preservation of their cultural heritage.


Coconut shell handicrafts in Kerala represent a perfect blend of tradition, creativity, and sustainability. The ingenious use of coconut shells to create lampshades, bowls, and utensils showcases the resourcefulness of Kerala’s artisans. These unique and artistic products not only add charm to homes but also support local communities and promote sustainable living. So, the next time you visit Kerala or come across coconut shell handicrafts, take a moment to appreciate the artistry and cultural significance behind these beautiful creations.

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

But Mala doesn't stop at just sharing her own thoughts and ideas. She welcomes constructive criticisms and suggestions to improve her blog and make it even more impactful. And if you share her passion for India's culture and heritage, she extends a warm invitation for high-quality guest blog posts.

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