Art & Craft of Kollam

Tired of the same old-same old raw, machine-produced items? Looking for a great gift item for your trip to Quilon?Meet Screw pine!

Screwpine art has an aura of their own, isn’t it? The fine yet tough, strong golden brown items may that be mats, baskets, pillow cases etc with its traditional Indian embroidery seduce any passerby closer. With an age-old romantic history, Screwpine craft of Kerala is a much awed off art. Guess where in Kerala is Screw pine craft the best? None other than Quilon or Kollam!

One of the oldest crafts practised by women in Kerala, screw pine craft is the art of making different types of mats and wall hangings using the leaves of the screw pine plant as practised by artisans in Kerala.This art has flourished among the people of Kollam for over 800 years already.The leaves for this mat are taken from the sword-shaped thorny screw-pine plant. The process is tough as the leaf has sharp thorns growing in both directions.

There are two different types of pines. The short variety is used for a large number of items as it can be both faded and painted. The finer varieties of mats need narrower splits and as they need to be extra silk, therefore, they are boiled in the pure milk. At the end of weaving you get amazing products like table mats, bags, cushion covers wall hangings and beach hats. Decorative embroidery adds to the beauty of the products.

It might surprise you to know that the artisans engage in these crafts out of passion and not for money. Screwpine mats have a significant role in the traditional customs of Kerala. When important visitors come home, they were offered these mats to sit upon as a sign of honour and respect.

If you are a true fan of art, then you definitely shouldn’t miss the Paramparya Arts festival. Also known as the Arts and Crafts Festival of Ashtamudi, the word Paramparya means tradition in Malayalam.

The Paramparya arts festival is permeated with workshops and live demonstrations of traditional arts and crafts.The Paramparya arts festival stand as an incredible opportunity to interact with master craftsmen from all over the State. The festival also includes an international craft film festival, seminars and talks.

What makes the festival even more amazing is the cultural performances by folk and tribal artists from different parts of India, may that be Assam, Gujarat, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh etc. Incredible music sessions that show off the tradition of India add another jewel to the Kollam’s crown. The Paramparya is conducted at the Ashramam maidan, on the precincts of the Ashramam picnic village located in the 48 acre Guest House Complex. The complex stands on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake and is a key tourism centre of Kollam district.

Also don’t forget to drop by the  8 Point Art Cafe. An international standard art cafe in the city of Kollam. Eight-Point is established in a renovated heritage building inside the Ashramam Picnic Village campus. Enjoy your rich coffee as you sit amidst few of the best work of artisans from all over Kerala adorned over the cafe’s wall with heaven-like aura. Exhibitions and art performances are 8 Point Cafe’s norm. Want to see some of the finest art in India? Be there at Kollam!

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