Introduction: Kathakali Dance Model

Kathakali is a form of a classical Indian dance based in the state of Kerala in India. It is known for its vibrant costumes and face-masks who perform to convey a story through their facial expressions.
I wanted to make a model of the person to represent the dance form and try my hand at replicating their face masks!

This a simple instructable with fewer steps for all the art and craft lovers who love dancing out there!

Step 1: Materials

For this you will need the following materials:

  • Tissue Paper - Link
  • Fevicol - Link
  • Tape - Link
  • Scissors
  • Full face party mask - Link
  • Newspaper
  • Flat rounded bucket - Link
  • One round large bucket as shown in the picture, it doesn't have to be the exact way but the size should be the same and the roundness.
  • Wooden planks for hands and legs
  • Thermocol sheets - Link
  • Disposable Gloves - Link
  • Traditional Indian style Lungi - Link
    If you get them its perfect or else you can take any piece of white cloth to wrap
  • A shirt or a top kind of cloth for the upper body
  • Kundan Stones for craft - Link
  • A storage small and round storage container - Link
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Bendable metal wires - Link
  • Paper hand fan - Link

Step 2: The Face

Let's start by making the face first.

  1. Take a portion of a newspaper and make a round roll as shown.
  2. Place in newspaper rolls inside the mask and tape it firmly. (Make a roll such that one side of it should be uniform and smooth which will go for the eye as seen in the fifth picture above).
  3. As this makes the back of the head make sure to make it a bit round and smooth.
  4. Similarly, tape the newspapers on top of the head to make the crown.
  5. For the small ring which is given at the jaw around the face, use a thick paper and cut it into the shape of the jawline and stick it with the tape.
  6. Once done with the initial assembly. Let's make this as a mold.
  7. To make the mold, take a bowl of water and add the fevicol glue to it and mix them well.
  8. Use the tissue paper roll, place them in the newspaper, now take a brush, and gently apply the water and glue mixture to the tissue. this will wet the tissue and will keep it stuck in the newspaper.
  9. You will notice that the newspaper might be visible. Hence go on applying more layers of tissue until the newspaper is not seen.

Once done, keep the mold to dry for 24 hours.

After the face mold is set, paint them carefully as shown.

Voila! The face is now ready!

Step 3: The Body

Use the storage tubs for the body as shown in the picture above.

Using a bendable metal wire tie the two tubs in place firmly.

For the neck use a small storage container where we can place the face inside that and tape it.

I used wooden planks for the hands and legs.

For the hands- Make two holes in the top bucket and use metal wires to tie the planks to the bucket.

The leg is supported by two planks and those two planks are fitted into a circular disc-shaped wood since the bottom bucket is round it will fit accordingly and maintains balance.

Wrap the newspaper with tape as shown.

That's it. Now let's give this a nice costume in our final step :)

Step 4: Dress It Up!

Use the lungis and a top to dress up the model as shown.

For the hands- Use the disposable gloves and fill it up with the newspaper inside them and tape it to the arm. Paint them!

Detailing the face and the crown. Use Kundan stones to make patterns for the crown and use Thermocol for the round discs on the side of the face as shown.

Use a paper hand fan and tape it to the back of the head.

If you have some jewelry put them to the model and your kathakali model is ready.

Glue & Tape Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Glue & Tape Speed Challenge