Muthukannamal didn’t wear makeup for her performances. She merely washed her face with freshly rubbed turmeric root. The result: her face glowed golden in the light of the oil lamps (There were no harsh lights back then).

    Her father Ramachandra Nattuvanar did her hair – he braided it, and she decorated it with flowers.

    Sathir involves acrobatics, which she did with ease by tucking her sari between her legs.

    Muthukannamal got both sides of her nose pierced when she was a little girl, in keeping with her profession’s aesthetic.