5 reasons why you should own Nettoor Petti: Kerala’s jewel box

What better souvenir could represent Kerala, than its very own handicraft – the Nettoor Petti? The Nettoor Petti is a beautiful handicraft that borrows its name from the place of its origins, Nettoor town in Kerala. The jewel box (petti meaning box), represents Kerala’s royal heritage, as it was originally a part of the Royal households used to store their precious gems. Before we tell you five very important reasons why you should buy one, here is more about the exquisite handicraft.

This jewel box of Kerala, also called the Amadapetti is beauty, tradition and even mathematics rolled into one little box. You may wonder how mathematics comes in here; the Nettoor petti is made according to the principles of Thachushastram, Kerala’s ancient architectural science. Every box is made of 7 pieces of wood in its lower half and 4 parts in its top half, cut to precise measurements using tools specific to this industry. Quality Rosewood or Mahogany wood is sourced from around the state and polished to perfection for days before they come together in the box. The wood is put together with nails, that are made exclusively by hand for the Nettoor petti. The box once put together is then painted with earth colours inspired by Kerala murals. Over this comes the next intricate piece of detailing – bright brass elements that are also hand crafted. The delicately designed brass work artistically cover the corners and also is used to make the elaborate lock of the box.

There are different types of boxes that are traditionally made in Nettoor, Kerala; while the Amadapetti stored jewels and represented aristocracy, the Arapu petti was a larger box with lesser embellishments that stored spices. An even more elaborate box was the medicine box that had drawers to sort medicines in it. While the modern Keralite carries a wallet, owning a Kai petti that carried money in the yesteryears meant a symbol of wealth. The Amadapetti is probably one Kerala handicraft that consists of many elements, each of which are crafted with great dexterity by hand; indeed a labour of love.

Decades ago, the Nettoor Petti stored the most precious gems of the erstwhile royal families of Kerala in its soft velvet interiors. Today, the jewel box of Kerala is a heirloom piece for many families and occupies pride of place in many living rooms.

5 Reasons why you should get a Nettoor Petti:

  1. The Amadapetti while being a jewel box, is a convenient storage kit too with its neatly partitioned interiors and soft lining. Store house-keys to other important items in this easily accessible box and rest assured, you’ll never misplace things!
  2. The box makes for a great addition to your Kerala Heirloom collection. Don’t have one yet? Start it off with the Nettoor Petti.
  3. The Amadapetti is a very aesthetically designed product, complying with Vaasthu shastra too; making it a very a lovely addition to your living room.
  4. By buying a Nettoor Petti, you would play a prime part in preserving a dying tradition and promoting the talented artisans of this state.
  5. The Nettoor Petti is a valuable gifting option for your loved ones. What better way to show your love than this aristocratic and aesthetic handicraft?!

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