I have never been in the south (South of India) before. The Past from few months being in Bangalore I get this chance to know the culture customs n believes of them. Though language is an issue between us, but curiosity n eagerness breaks all barrios. I interact with artisans of these toys makers to get to know their all aspects which make them so exquisite. From south zone These prominent toys names are very famous, Ettikoppaka, Chennapatnam , Kondapalli. Let’s start talk about Ettikoppaka, cause rest I already cover in my previous articles before.
Ettikoppaka is a village in Andhra Pradesh (India), famed for its toys and decorative artefacts on the banks of the Varaha River, the name Etikoppaka means itself, a group of houses on the banks of the river.It is 65 km from Visakhapatnam. The village economy is mostly based on farming. Ettikoppaka , is famous for two things The first ever cooperative sugar factory in the country and second for, the lac industry.
The origination of these toys tradition consist a history behind itself.The villages around Koppaka (place in Visakhapatnam district) have always been involved in producing handicrafts of weaving, brass works, and the wooden article/toy making. The Ettikoppaka toy making industry has its origin in Nakkapalli, a village next to Koppaka which originally know by the name ‘Laccapalli’. About a hundred years ago, the village held the monopoly in making colorful miniature pillars, decorative arches and jharokas, which were assembled together to make the elaborate temple carts. Orders for such articles came from distant temple towns like Kanchipuram, Tanjore and Puri. The artisans kept the finer points of lac making and lacquer coating a closely guarded secret during that time. Around the turn of the century, the landlords of Etikoppaka resettled the artisans of Nakkapalli at Ettikoppaka, where the cottage industry flourished. More than 200 artisan families living in this village currently.
Ettikoppaka is famous for its age-old tradition of sparkling colorful wooden toys and objects. .Ettikoppaka toys are made of soft and fine grain ‘Ankudu woods’. Women and children pick it up from nearby hills and leave it to dry in the courtyards. The workplace and tools are primitive. It is a wonder that with these primitive tools, objects of such skill originate here.
The toys are given shape with the help of turnwood machine. Zero emery paper is used to smooth the surface of the wood. Then colored lac is applied on the wood, which spreads uniformly due to the heat. After applying colored lac, the wood is polished with keora leaf, which contains silicate and fatty acids. Stones are used to blend the colors. The black color is obtained from haritaki fruit. The yellow is rendered by wild turmeric, red from zafran while green is made by mixing indigo and wild turmeric.
Ettikoppka has GI (Geographical Identification) tag registration since from 2004. GI tag give a unique identity to any product especially toys and handicrafts that help the industry and artisans from the onslaught of duplicacy. GI helps to promote a product globally and also provides protection from others making it at any other location than the place it originated.
So that’s the rigorous task behind it to make these toys exquisite since from ages.
Hope u praise from the very next time while buying Ettikoppaka toys the passion tradition and patience of these toys makers.