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Horn carving handicraft in Kerala has been in existence from time to time immemorial. The craft is mainly concentrated in and around Thiruvananthapuram. Artisans belonging to Viswakarma community are mainly practising this craft. A wide range of utility and decorative items like flower set, birds, animals, combs & cigarette cases etc. are made out of horn.
Ivory carving is another traditional art of Kerala mainly practised in Thiruvananthapuram and surroundings. This handicraft is also practised in some parts of Thrissur.The art was given an impetus by Swathy Thirunal Maharaja. An ivory throne made by Swathy Thirunal is still preserved as a show piece. The craftsmen engaged in this art at present produce a variety of models of mythological characters, animals, birds, cigarette cases etc., to cater to different tastes. A typical specimen of ivory carving produced in Kerala is that of the snake boat (chundan vallam) and it is cherished by tourists to the state as a memento. The craftsmen engaged in ivory carving also use other materials like the buffalo horn for practising their art.
Ivory carving handicraft has been an integral part of Keralas indigenous craft scenario for almost 200 years. The artifacts mostly include mythological figures and natural objects. Recently, ivory and wood have been skillfully blended together to create beautiful handicrafts. The crowning glory of the Kerala ivory carver is the small seed shell (with a diameter of 0.5 cm) housing a menagerie of a hundred or more miniature ivory elephants.
For details on the capital city, log on to thiruvananthapuram.net
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