Marapachi Kolu ( A couple doll)

Before let u introduced with Marapachi dolls let me describe u first from which rituals they belong to.

Bommai Kolu   is a tradition of doll figurine display festival during  Navratri in south India. This custom practiced in state of Tamil nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerla. This festival have interesting rituals; Once the initials pooja get done in Navarati, This is then followed by building a rack of odd-numbered shelves of Kolu (usually 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11), set up using wooden planks. After the Kolu has been covered with fabric it is then adorned with various dolls, figurines and toys according to their size, with the deities at the top. The Kolu is predominantly displayed with depictions from Puranas, court life, royal procession, ratha yatra, weddings, everyday scenes, toys, miniature kitchen utensils, anything a little girl would have played with. Most of the wooden toys displayed come from traditional toy makers in EtikoppakaKondapalliKinnal and Channapatna about them I will explain you respectively later on my further articles….


It is a traditional practice to have wooden figurines of the bride and groom together, called ‘Marapacchi Bommai’ or ‘Pattada Gombe’, usually made of teak or sandalwood and decorated with new clothes each year before being displayed on the Kolu. In southern India bride is presented ‘Marapacchi Bommai’ during the wedding by her parents as part of wedding trousseau to initiate the yearly tradition of ‘Navaratri Gollu’ in her new home with her husband. These dolls come as couples dressed in their wedding attire, depicting husband and wife symbolizing prosperity and fertility and the start of the bride’s Gollu collection. Display figurines are passed on from one generation to another as heirloom. Another belief is that these dolls were dressed in wedding finery to be able to capture the essence of marriage forever. Those were the days when there were no photos so these dolls represented the marriage in the absence of photos.

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Author: seemaawasthi

studied design at IICD (Indian Institute of Craft & Designs), Jaipur.while i am employed as a graphics designer in a IT company and my dream is to work independently to live my passion for CRAFT.

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