Carved rosewood, teak furniture and decorative items, masks depicting
various mythological characters (worn by Kathakli performers, Theyyams
and other classical dances) are important products.
Coir handicrafts include table and floor mats, hand-knitted in
exquisite designs. Bell metal vessels made by moosaris is another
traditional craft of the state, though the range of products now
includes demands of tourists, like temple lamps, jewel boxes.
A spciality of Thiruvananthapuram is Arammula, a metal mirror made
by mixing herbs with molten metal to give it a reflective surface.
Kasavu Mundu and Kasavu Neryathu,
are extremely light pure cotton handlooms edged with golden thread.
The golden edging is sometimes touched with contrasting bright
colours. They are worn as traditional saris or used as dress material.
A Malayalee (Keralite) woman wearing the mundu and neryathu, with
her long black oiled hair tied loosely and strung with a garland
of Jasmine, is the very picture of elegance. She hardly uses any
facial make-up other than the bindi on the forehead and kajal on
her eyes, not to mention the gold ornaments which are her passion.
The combination is unique to this land and gives an attractive but
natural look. The men wear the mundu around the loin and the neryathu
around the shoulders.
In Kerala pepper is cultivated in a mixed crop environment. In Wayanad,
pepper is planted amongst coffee plantations, and cultivated on
a large scale. Pepper is also a main item in most kitchen gardens
The spice-scented shores of Kerala have beckoned traders from time
immemorial, and its allure continues to hold sway even today. The
spices trade still dominates the commercial transactions of the
State. India, the world's largest
exporter of spices, realises three fourths of its total output from
the rich plantations of Kerala.
A popular dry nut of God's Own Country, cashewnut kernels are either
eaten raw or roasted and salted. For centuries a commercial export
item of Kerala, cashewnuts are traditionally used for seasoning
the sweet delicacies of the land's cuisine. It is said that cashewnuts
were brought here by Portuguese traders.
Information on shopping in Kerala - India