Aiyappan and Velayutham, two students of the Kattaikkuttu School, demonstrate the Kattaikkuttu make-up and put on the ornaments and costumes.

Aiyappan has chosen a special female character, the Kuratti, and Velayutham the character of King Duryodhana. If you look at the photos it looks easy and fast. But it took them two hours to put on the make-up, ornaments and costumes. The photos were taken by four other students of the School.

Velayutham collects small sticks from a broom made of coconut fibres and polishes them. The make-up is applied with these sticks. Coloured powder is mixed with coconut-oil. This makes the face-paint.

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Make-up demonstration by Aiyappan and Velayutham
The Kuratti needs long hair, a 'petty-coat' (underskirt), a sari and a sari-blouse. And of course a woman has breasts. This is the first time that Aiyappan tries out the small fake-breasts, which he puts inside the sari-blouse. The boys have fun. But it works. It makes the lady-character look much better. Then he has to wrap the sari - a five metres long piece of cloth. But how did that work again?

The Kuratti is a kind of gypsy lady. She tells fortunes, sells bangles and carries a basket on her head. The basket can be turned around. During a performance people will put money into it. According to the story, the low-caste character of the Kuratti is really the Goddess Draupadi in disguise. When people give money, the Kuratti swings the basket with her hand so that it spins around.

Velayutham ties a ring on his head and covers it with a cloth. It has to be on exactly the right spot and not loose, because it is the foundation for the heavy crown. Then he adds the different wooden ear and head ornaments that belong to the outfit of a heroic king. It is a complex process, which involves a lot of fine strings that have to be tied and fixed.

Male Kattaikkuttu characters wear wide skirts. First Velayutham puts on three plastic underskirts and on top of that a decorated skirt. Then he puts on the other parts of the costume one by one. Velayutham cannot do it all alone. He needs the help of his friends to fix the strings on his back. Others have to hold up and tie the two heavy wooden shoulder ornaments that complete his outfit.

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Make-up demonstration by Aiyappan and Velayutham