Kerala is well known for its articulate craftsmanship, which is an intimate part of Kerala’s tradition.
19 showrooms under the brand name ‘Kairali‘, spread at strategic places all over India, is marketing handicrafts procured directly from the Artisans. SMSM Institute, at Trivandrum is the flagship showroom of Kerala Handicrafts Development Corporation.
Kerala handicrafts, due to its unique, original creative characteristics and unsurpassed sense of colors has got a a pride of place in Indian handicrafts map.
The local arts and crafts industry in Kerala is so strong that one can find handcrafted articles made of a large variety of resources such as wood, bell metal, brass, coconut shell, banana fiber, screw pine, straw andother natural fibers, papier mache, textiles, Cora grass, cane and bamboo, buffalo horn etc.
Kerala crafts is mainly linked to traditions, festivals and rituals observed in the state of Kerala. A very famous product is the wooden face of a Kathakali dancer that is available easily on any roadside shop.
Though every district of the state has the culture of practicing a number of handicrafts activities but each district has specials reputations for one or two crafts.
Perinad in Kollam district is famous for straw picture craft. Ernakulam and Idukki district are famous for bamboo crafts.
Artisans practicing bell metal craft is mostly found in Mannar and chengannur area in Alappuzha district, Nadavarambu area in Thrissur, and Kunjimangalam in Kannur District.
Cherpu, Thrissur Is famous for wooden elephants. Wayanad, and Alappuzha districts are famous for natural fiber crafts.
Marketing Support :
In order to promote and Market Handicrafts Corporation organizes various programs like Exhibitions, Craftsbazaar and Gandhi Shilp Bazaars across the country with the financial aid of Central and State Governemnts.
This will provide direct marketing platform to the handicrafts artisans/SHGs /entrepreneurs from various parts of the country.
SMSM Institute :
The name of SMSM Institute, the central emporium, stands for Sree Moolam Shashtyabdapurthi Memorial Institute in memory of the 60th birthday anniversary of His Highness King Moolam Tirunal of the princely state of Travancore.
This institute was started during 1917 as a craft institute and later converted into a trade centre by shifting this craft centre to another place. Our other sales outlets are named under the brand name ‘Kairali‘.
Spice Hut :
Kerala often called ‘Land of Spices’ is famous for its spices for centuries. “Spice Hut” is an exclusive show room near SMSM Institute, Trivandrum for ‘Spice –in-Crafts’ .
Here the Traditional handicrafts are blended with the world renowned Kerala spices. Spices are available in specially designed traditional handcrafted boxes and other suitably modified crafts articles.
Some of the popular crafts of Kerala :
Wood Carving :
Wood Carving creates wide designs in wood by hand with the help of carving tools is called wood carving which is a traditional craft in Kerala.
- Rose Wood
- Sandal Wood
- White Wood
- Country Wood
- Other Wood
Metal Craft :
Bell metal craft is one of the tradtional craft in Kerala and is an alloy of copper and tin. This craft has won worldwide reputation for its artistic perfection.
This craft is mainly practised by crafts persons belonging to a particular community.
The bell metal castings are done in the well known method of lost wax process. Major bell metal crafts include traditional lamps, Uruli & temple Pooja sets etc.
Buffalo Horn :
This craft is mainly concentrated in the capital city of Kerala. Artisans belonging to a particular community are mainly practising this craft. A wide range of decorative utility crafts like flower sets, birds, animals, fish etc are made out of horn.
Screwpine mat weaving is one of the traditional crafts in Kerala. Different types of mats are woven with screwpine leaves.
Kerala often called “Land of spices is famous for its spices for centuries.”Spice Hut “ is an exclusive show room near SMSMI Institute, Trivandrum for “spice –in-crafts”.
Here we blend the Traditional handicrafts with the Kerala spices. Spices are available in specially designed traditional handcrafted boxes and other suitably modified crafts articles.
Other Craft-forms :
Banana fibre/palm stem fibre/sizil fibre are the main fibres used for this craft. The main items produced are basket, bags, table mats, floor coverings, purses etc. Tradtional temple craft in Kerala and widely used for various religious processions.