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Chuvanna Thaadi - Kathakali Make-up

Chuvanna Thaadi is the name of a make-up in Kathakali. It literally means red beard and is donned by evil characters. Dussasana is an evil character wearing red beard. Though not evil characters, Bali and Sugriva, the great monkey chiefs depicted in Ramayana also wear red beards.

Kathakali make-up is classified into five types according to the nature of the character. They are Pacha (green), Kathi (knife), Kari (black), Thaadi (beard) and Minukku (radiant). Thaadi is further classified into three viz., Chuvanna Thaadi (red beard), Vella Thaadi (white beard)  and Karutha Thaadi (black beard).

Literally, Vella Thaadi means white beard and is worn by virtuous characters. Karutha Thaadi literally means black beard and it is for primitive beings. All the three types of characters wear beards in respective colours.