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Nettippattom

 
 
The Keralites' love for gold is reflected even in the manner they adorn their favourite beast. The elephant, which is an integral part of any celebration here, is turned out in full regal splendour for any pageant or procession. The nettippattom (the glittering ornament that adorns the forehead of the elephant) is crafted in gold by a skilled clan of artisans. Nowhere in India is an elephant decorated so extravagantly, or so befittingly.
The making of the nettippattom: Three and a half kilograms of copper and three sovereigns (24 gms) of gold go into the making of a simple nettippattom. It takes not less than 20 days to craft this ornament. The size of the nettippattom varies with that of the elephant. An elephant of 9 to10 ft height would require an ornament of 60" - 66'' in length with at least 11 chandrakkala (crescents) on it.
The nettippattom is today made in Thiruvankulam village of Ernakulam district and the adjoining areas of Thrissur.
 
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