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Vella Thaadi - Kathakali Make-up

Vella Thaadi is the name of a make-up in Kathakali. It literally means white beard and is donned by virtuous characters. An important character wearing this make-up is Hanuman, the monkey chief depicted in Ramayana, the Indian epic. Shown in the video is Hanuman from the play Kalyanasougandhikam.

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, Chuvanna Thaadi means red beard and is worn by evil characters. Karutha Thaadi literally means black beard and it is for primitive beings. All the three types of characters wear beards in respective colours.