Kathakali is a highly stylized classical Indian dance-drama well-known for its attractive make-up of characters, elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and body movements. It's prevalent india's southern state of Kerala where it also originated.
It was photographed at the reputed Kathakali Kalatharangini school in Thrissur, during he Theyyams of Malabar 2009 Photo~Expedition.
The make up used in Kathakali performances is made from various mineral ores and pigments, which are ground on a stone and mixed with coconut oil before being applied on the actors' faces. Interestingly, the character shown in the above photograph placed a "chundanga" seed under his lower eyelids to turn the white of his eyes red.