Elephant Caparison

This ornate gold-plated nettipattam or caparison would have been part of the ornamentation of an elephant for a festival celebration in Kerala. This is a typical example of an elephant caparison, with a core of copper coated with gold, having five spherical fixtures and edged with a fringe of yarn, backed with textile.The nettipattam is symbolic of the elephant-headed god Ganesha. Elephants are central to large festivals and celebrations in Kerala, with at least one decorated elephant being present at any large festival, regardless of religion or community. Caparisoned elephants are particularly associated with the Thrissur Pooram, an annual festival held at the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur, Kerala.

Indigenous Name
20th century
Kerala, India
Gross Measurement: 133.0 x 93.0 x 6.2
Accession No.
Copper, gold, textile
Collection of
Indian Heritage Centre
Folklife Collection