Alternative Medium for kids, to draw attention from Screen Entertainment.

I started My cultural interest journey, during my graduation. It was a craft education orientated institute, based in the capital of Rajasthan. My specialization was in textile designing that led to witness cultural diversity throughout in  the country.  That made me learned a lot about culture, through their aboriginal attire and craft culture preference. Those easily get influenced by history, geography, climate condition and cultural beliefs about that indigenous place. These facts intrigue my interest to not only  see their craft but also look at, life around them.

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I love travelling,though it’s not as easy to manage along with your professional 9 to 5 job but somehow I make it possible if I want it bad enough.

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The culture of India is one of the oldest and unique. The South, North and Northeast have their own distinct cultures and almost every state has carved out its own cultural niche. There is hardly any culture in the world that is as varied and unique as India. But Due to urbanization of young generation on one side where we are becoming a multicultural society, On the other hand, we are losing our distinct tradition and its cultural values.We can clearly understand as if, as many rituals and custom our grandparents followed; in the next generation my mom not able to follows them all. In fact, in heirloom, I also won’t be able to follow half of what my mom does now.  That would happen Due to lack of resources, knowledge, and interest.

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So in that way, if the majority of generation ignores their culture and its values, it can’t survive for long. So here we can trace where it is proceeding, But no!! We don’t want our unique and diverse culture to get write off. Then the question is how to protect it?

Culture in itself a very vast topic; we can classify it in 2 as tangible and intangible aspects.

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On following key points, we need to think on individual level, about our own part of contribution, to keep attached next generation with the culture. As parents, it’s our job to choose the right occasion  and right places to help them explore, inspect, create, and question everything around them.

dav
http://www.handmadetoys.in
dav
http://www.handmadetoy.in

Here I’m putting my little efforts by creating ‘ TANGIBLE MINIATURE’ artworks to promote cultural education. I believe these artworks will ENCOURAGE parent to involved them-self with kids. I choose Parents to cover the intangible aspects of these cultural artworks. That’s how you can make them understand their own roots, primal culture, and its values.Top of the thing, we are giving various topics to parents, to share their own respective part of memories. Those memories you might have collected in their life, over a certain time. It would be exactly like introducing them with your family photo album, where they start recognizing your family friends and events based on your detailed description.

dav
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dav
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Topic of artworks I’ll choose from different distinct culture. On first series, I covered North Indian culture. For more clarity about its tangible and intangible aspects, I will cover whole article on each of them.

dav
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while working and observing the pattern of learning for kids in past 3 years , I found that there are mainly 7 ways to make them learn anything –

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1-visual, 2- aural, 3- social, 4-solitary, 5- physical, 6- logical, 7-verbal.

Here parents, teachers, friends n society play a great role to build the character and cultural knowledge of kids.Only Parents and teachers can play the best role to connect them with their culture, as they are the closest persons to them. I strongly believe that Visual, social and verbal communication bridge will find alternative to keep kids away from screen entertainment; where they only get trapped in someone else simulation.

dav
http://www.handmadetoys.in
dav
http://www.handmadetoys.in

Knowledge about culture will open a whole new field of imagination and understanding for kids to analyze Cultural Revolution. I just want you to Give them food of thought and Let them play with their own imagination.

The festival of Jagannath Rath Yatra

‘Jagannath Puri’, Rath Yatra get organized every once in a year. Jagannath Puri is one of the four ‘DHAMs’ in the Hindu Culture. It is situated in the holy town of ‘Puri’ within the state of Orissa, on the eastern part of  India; remaining three ‘DHAMs’ are situated:

original1.2406073.2Dwarika in the west, Badrinath in the north and Rameswaram in the southern part of India and today I will share some interesting facts about ‘The Jagannath Rath Yatra’.

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The Jagannath temple has a long and rich history. On the second day of the bright fortnight of Asadha (june) month, the pilgrim town of Puri celebrates the festival of Jagannath Rath Yatra. It is the day when Gods come out on the Royal Chariots and visit the Gundicha temple.

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The embodiment’s of 3 deities, Jagannath, and his siblings Balabhadra and Subhadra, have brought out off the temple on the streets of the Puri. Devotees use their combined strength to pull the chariot to Gundicha temple using ropes.

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During this there is a ritual call “Chedaphahra”, which involves the king of Puri, Sweeping the floor before Jagannath. He sweeps all 3 chariots with the gold handled groom and sprinkle sandalwood water on the very first and last days of the Yatra.

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After 9 days, these Deities are brought back from the Gundicha temple to the main  Shree Jagannath temple. On the way back in the mid of the return journey, the 3 Deities hop on a temple called Mausi MAA temple and get the feast of ” Pada Pitha”  (a kind of baked cake).

 

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GUNDICHA  Temple

 

When we were kids, we usually used to watch the Jagannath Yatra on our television set. But we never tried to get to know why this ritual is happening?Why is a king sweeping around chariots? Why these Gods come out every year?

Let’s know these facts today!! Recently I came across some very interesting facts about Jagannath Puri. So, I thought, let’s share them with you.

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Legendary account as found in the Skanda-Purana, Brahma Purana, and other Puranas that the original image of Jagannath (a deity form of Vishnu), at the end of Treta Yuga, manifested near a banyan tree, near seashore in the form of a Blue Jewel. That blue jewel came out from Lord Krishna’s feet. After death, his body got disappeared, but this Padma (Blue Jewel) remained on earth. It was so dazzling that it could grant instant Moksha, so the God Dharma and Yama wanted to hide it in the earth, and was successful. In Dvapara Yuga Lord Jagannath was originally worshiped by a Savar king (tribal chief) named Viswavasu. On hearing about the deity, King Indradyumna sent a Brahmin priest and his brother Vidyapati to locate the deity, who was worshiped

secretly in a dense forest by Viswavasu.

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INDRADYUMNA

Vidyapati tried his best but could not locate the place. But at last, he managed to marry Viswavasu’s daughter Lalita. On multiple requests of Vidyapti, Viswavasu took his son-in-law blindfolded to a cave where Lord Neela Madhava was worshiped.

Vidyapati was very intelligent. He dropped mustard seeds on the ground on the way. The seeds germinated after a few days, which enabled him to find out the cave later on. On hearing from Vidyapati, King Indradyumna proceeded immediately to Odra Desha (Odisha) on a pilgrimage to see and worship the Deity. But the deity had disappeared. Actually, the Deity was hidden in the sand. The king was disappointed and he determined not to return without having a Darshan of the deity and observed fast unto death at Mount Nilgiri.The King Indradyumna was apprised of the message of Brahma by Narada: that the King must worship the deity with one thousand Ashwamedha yajnas.(yug).

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OVER one thousand Aswamedh yug: the divine voice of Neela Madhav instructs Indradyumna as:

“In this world, I will not give you Darshan in the form of Neela Madhava, but I will manifest in four forms: Jagannatha, Balabhadra, Subhadra, and Sudarshan chakra. Wait near the river bank, and a Daru (log of Neem tree trunk) would come afloat.I will manifest in the form of very large, fragrant, reddish log, and the signs of Sankha, Chakra, Gada, and the Padma will be seen everywhere in that form. Go there and take me out and make four deities from that log. Then you will be able to worship me”.

When this log, radiant with light, was seen floating over the sea, Narada told the king to make three idols out of it and place them in a pavilion.

brahmaIndradyumna got Visvakarma, the architect of the Gods, to build a magnificent temple to establish the idols and Vishnu himself appeared in the guise of a carpenter to make the idols on the condition that he was to be left undisturbed until he finished the work.

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But just after two weeks, the Queen became very anxious. She assumed the carpenter to be dead as no sound came from the temple. Therefore, she requested the king to open the door. Thus, they went to see Viswkarma at work at which the latter abandoned his work leaving the idols unfinished. The idols were devoid of any hands. A divine voice told Indradyumana to install them in the temple. And hence the inception of ‘The Jagannath Temple’ happened.

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Following the same pattern, every once in a while, Jagannath presides deity temple in the Puri dies and then come back to the life. Jagannath’s sister Subhadra and brother Balabhadra also undergo the same change. This tradition, known as NOBHAKODA, has been taking place from last 4000 years. It happens when an extra month gets added to the traditional calendar year.This happens to every 14 to 19 years. 2015 was one such years.

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It’s a pretty interesting phenomenon by which how Lord Jagannath’s rebirth takes place.  A Special Neem tree called Darubramh; which doesn’t have a nest, ant hills and snake lives near these and contains symbols of Vishnu. These are cut and transported to the pilgrim town of the Puri where they are carved as with the specific ritualistic guidelines. Then on a specific night the government declares a complete blackout in the Puri and the special blindfolded priest transfers something mysterious from the old image of Jagannatha to the new one. That substance is called “Bramh Pradarth” but no one really knows exactly about it. People believe that it is the same Blue Jewell which is worshiped as Neela Mahadev.

brahmaAfter the rituals, Jagannath’s old image is buried in the special ground barrier of the temple.

Although the Jagannath temple faced several invasions,  through all these adversities Puri temple has continued to thrive. Invasions happened, religious adversities came and went, but the divinity that lives in deformed and smiling deity of Puri passes from one form to another and blesses the entire mankind…

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for more detail plz visit:  www.handmadetoys.in

 

 

 

 

‘GANGOUR’ The festival of Isar and Gour.

Gangour is one of the widely celebrated festivals of Rajasthan. The festival marks the beginning of spring season in the state.It’s commenced at the mid of march with a series of celebrations that last for almost 18 days!

The word ‘Gangur’ is made up of two words,’Gana’ and ‘Gaur’. ‘Gana’ is synonymous with Lord Shiva and ‘Gaur’ stands for Gauri (Parvali), the goddess Gauri who symbolizes soubhagya (marital bliss). The Gangour festival is widely acclaimed and enthusiastically celebrated throughout the state of Rajasthan. Gangaur is a festival of the women folks; Gangaur is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Gauri, who is considered as the symbol of virtue, devotion, fertility and a perfect married woman.

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The small Idols of the Shiva and Gauri are usually made of wood or clay mud. These divine male and female entities are called ‘Isar’ and ‘Gauri’. It is mandatory for a newly- wedded girl to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival and keep fast to ensure her marriage do well,  even unmarried girls fast and eat only one meal a day.

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Now, let me take you through the procedures of celebrations!

The celebration begins almost a fortnight before the main day of the festival.Girls worship the goddess all through the fortnight before the main event day.   A group of women from the town holds a procession and carry colorful Idols of Gouri. Many people from nearby villages come to take part in the procession and roam around with them from village to villages.

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On the main day of this festival, women wake up before sunrise. Prior to the worship, newlyweds and unmarried girls leave the house with an earthen pot with a lamp lit inside, called ‘Ghudlia’, on their head to near the pond and garden, to collect fresh water and fresh flowers respectively.While coming back to the house, women chant hymn and (mangal) songs.

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After making home holy by sprinkling this water, women construct twenty-four finger-high and twenty-four finger-long square base of the holy clay in the solitary place.During this Pooja as a symbol of virtue, sixteen dots by  kuncum, sixteen dots by mehndi  and sixteen dots by kajal  are made.

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Women Decorate the Isar and Gauri with beautiful clothes and ornaments specially made for the occasion.the beautifully decorated idols look like they are brought to life by these girls and married women. Women worship ten forms of Mother Gauri: Gauri, Uma, Latika, Subhaga, Bhagmalini, Manokamna, Bhavani, Kamada, Bhog Vardavini and Ambika, with great devotion and faith.

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The idol of Isar and Gouri placed on the head of married women are taken in a procession in the afternoon, to a garden, bawakdi or well. Vidaai songs are  sung  as  Gouri departed to her husband’s house, after that they come back to home. These prayers are persisted continuously for 18 days and are concluded with the arrival of Lord Shiva to accompany his bride home.

The married women worship Gauri for welfare, health, and longevity of their husband and cheerful married life. While unmarried girls worship the goddess to get the husband of their choice.They sing Bhajans or devotional songs as part of Gangour Puja.During Gangour festival several fairs or Jatra are celebrated in Jaipur, Udaipur and many other towns in Rajasthan.

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Gauri and Isar idols are taken out for a ceremonial procession through different parts of the city. Once the religious part of the festival is over, time for cultural events starts where the Rajasthani culture is portrayed through songs, dance and several cultural activities.

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On the final day, the procession comes to an end with the Visarjan (immerse) of all the idols in the water of Gangour Ghats. The women bid farewell to Gouri and return back towards their home with teary eyes and in this way, Gangour Festival come to an end.

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‘Kaavad’ A traditional masterpiece of storytelling

Storytelling, it’s a part of Indian rich heritage. It defines our culture and our identity. Storytellers spread the important messages and lessons via their stories, with the help of voice and gestures. They use different mediums along with it like painted scrolls, boxes, dance and music performance or a combination of all to make their message even more crisp and thoughtful. Storytelling is an ART!! And Kaavads are the masterpiece of this Art!

The Kaavad is a portable wooden temple/shrine that has visual narratives on its multiple panels that are hinged together. These panels can be opened into many layers, similar to crossed thresholds of a temple, unfolding its deepest secret.The picture painted on the panels depict episodes of a particular tale or a series of epic stories .‘Kaavad Banchana’, a storytelling tradition, is still alive in Rajasthan using stories of the epics Mahabharata, Ramayana, Puranas and folk traditions are told in a magnificent and astonishing manner.

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The Kaavad-storytellers are called Kaavadiya Bhat.They bring the shrine to their patron’s house to recite their genealogy and stories from the Hindu epic.The Kaavadiyas (storytellers) and their jujmans (hereditary patrons) consider the Kaavad as a sacred shrine, which demands certain rituals to be followed, listening to genealogies, epic stories and making donations. It is believed that listening to stories purifies the soul and reserves a place for the devotee in heaven.The Kaavad tradition is approximately 400 years old and like several other oral storytelling traditions in India, its origin is located in mythology or attributed to a mysterious power.

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Kaavad is made by the Suthar (carpenter) community in Mewar, situated amidst the hills of the Aravalli ranges in Rajasthan. The specific identity of Kaavad makers comes from the place Bassi, the place where Kaavads are originated from. The Suthars of Bassi calls themselves the children of Visvakarma, the God who is considered as the chief architect of the Universe and the father of carpenter community. Out of 25 families of Suthars in Bassi only five to six families are involved in making of Kaavads.

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Kaavadiyas procure Kaavads from the Suthars of Bassi and then travel along with it from village to village to tell a lot of marvelous stories. On his arrival at a village, the storyteller holds the Kaavad against his chest, tilted slightly backward so that everybody could see the mobile Kaavad-shrine.During Kaavad bhachana, he sits crossed legged and keeps Kaavad over his lap.

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The story begins by opening the small outer doors revealing the decorations on the outer panels to arouse the curiosity by talking through the highlights of the stories depicted in the Kaavad.The storyteller then opens a ‘donations’ flap located under the decorated panels.The storyteller opens panels, one by one, telling the unveiling the several episodes of the tale.Sometimes a story could last for several days. One Kavad can contain many linked tales.The grand finale of the tales comes as the storyteller opens the final panels to reveal a ‘shrine’ –housing 3D sculptures of the hero, his wife, companions, and other characters of the story, where everyone lives happily ever after.

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Ettikoppaka is famous for its age-old tradition of sparkling colorful wooden toys and objects.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Natungram of Bardhaman district is the hub for wooden doll making in West Bengal.

Natungram of Bardhaman district is the hub for wooden doll making. Bardhaman is well connected by bus and train from Kolkata. From Bardhaman station it takes nearly 1 hour by road to reach Natungram. Crafts persons from this area are traditionally practicing the art form and for most of them it is there primary livelihood. The doll makers are the Hindus, have last name Bhaskar, meaning sculptor or Sutradhar, meaning story teller.

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Photo credit: Shuvarthy Chowdhary

 The craft and craftsmanship were on its peak under the Bardhaman Maharaja. The honesty and the labour of this craft distinguish this art from the others. Wooden dolls to stools, each and every product can be distinguishable by their different colors and the placement of colors. Color can change the character of a same looking product.

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Photo credit : Shuvarthy chowdhary

Dolls are mainly made out of gamar wood, mango wood, shimul wood, ata wood, chatim wood. Men are cutting and carving the wood as per the requirement and women are painted the products with various color. Coloring has to be done by the female member of a family. They did an wonderful job and create various motifs and designs by themselves. They have used lots of colors in the dolls like-green, yellow, black borders and red. they used fabric colors and oil paints in decorating the dolls.

The traditional designs are based on culture and mythology, the richness of ideas, the brilliant combination of pure simplicity and glamour combined with the master craftsmanship, result in an amazing work of art. It can be said that every child born in that village, can make an owl out of the wooden cut piece. It is in their blood.

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Photo credit: Aaheli Naha

Traditionally the crafts persons are specialized in making the wooden owl; considered auspicious for homes as it is the ‘vahana‘  of the goddess Lakshmi. Though, other wooden objects are being made. But the owl, with its unique design and color, is the brand product of the village. On the white background of the owl is painted a distinctive design of red, green yellow and black lines.

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Photo credit : Shuvarthy chowdhary

Apart from these, the crafts persons used to make ‘Rashiputul’ (figures of Radha-Krishna on a single block of wood), Durga, Laksmi, Saraswati, figures of the King, the Queen. They are simply diversified and get a new form .The artisans of Natungram started their wood crafting 200 years ago .Since then the artisans making various types of wooden dolls for their livelihood. Now a days a change of color, texture, and design can be seen. Colors are more vibrant like yellow,red,blue and bold black border of each part to define. Various complex and intricate wood carving techniques have been introduced. The designs of the products are also varied from the older piece of products.

They are more attractive than earlier. Various new products have been introduced in around 5 years ago like they make furniture, lampshade, raja-rani cardholder, fusion furniture, owl lamp shades, owl sofa set, owl chairs and other similar products in Natungram style etc.

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Photo credit: Shuvarthy Chowdhary

The process of making the craft is simple. The figures are first drawn on the blocks of wood and then chiseled out. However, the master crafts person does not need the drawings. The wood is cut as per the size of the block. The piece is cleaned and smoothened. The design of the toy to be made is traced on this piece. Extra wood is chipped off according to the design. Fine strokes with the hammer are made on the chisel. It is smoothened with a file and painted. Add clay and wheat with fevicol and make a paste . Next the dresses with specific designs are marked out by fine strokes of the brush. The facial features are added in the end.

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The finished products are very simple and attractive at the same time. The men are skilled in the wood work and But the most attractive part is coloring part done by the women of Natungram. Even the children are also helping their parents by color the dolls with attractive designs.

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Photo credit: Aaheli naha

 

Role- play toys help kids to learn about their environment and enhance their social skills.

Toys!! when we recall this word, our flash back memory link us with our happy childhood moments. All toys with whom we grow and their association in our beautiful life learning, all comes into glimpse.

As a young child, girls had craziness to play kitchen-kitchen. When I was very young I remember one of my neighbor friend make all kitchens set item by clay, and within a wooden box we arranged them all. But yes we were so lean into that we skip doing our homework. One of her sibling who was quite elder than us and who believe that, these things are wastage of time; we should be focus on our  learning on our homework cause these things on real mean gonna make our future bright ahead… so he took that box and throw our  kitchen toys away… of course we were sad, cause only we know the value of our  sincere efforts to shape those all objects. Somewhere it left an impact on my subconscious mind. But still I found somewhere I have eager towards toys, that’s lead me here to understand the value and utility of toys ..

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Toys that help children express and understand emotions, and social relationships are known as Social Toys. These toys help children to develop social and language skills as well as help in emotional development.   They develop their verbal language as well as body language though play –sharing and role playing. Role Playing Toys or Pretend Play Toys are toys that children play with, to imitate real-life roles. Pretend Play Toys are very important for a child’s emotional development. These toys help in nurturing the imagination to play socially and help them to develop  emotionally. These toys help them to learn about their environment and enhance their social skills like language, body language, etc by encouraging interaction.

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Dolls and kitchen miniature are very popular toys in the pretend Play category.  Usually girls are seen playing with dolls from a very young age. Children enter the world of fantasy by playing with the dolls and kitchen toys while they imitate the real life roles. This helps them to be become aware of their environment around them and enhances thinking, creativity and imagination in children. They are comfort object for many children thereby providing them emotional support and enhancing their social communication skills.

 

Toys vary across country, culture, and families but on real means toys for children are beyond culture, country, cast and religion. Indian Toys are made of various kinds of material like wood, cloth, bamboo, metal, paper, plastic, clay, rubber, coir, papier-mâché, shells etc. Indian Toys are known for its craft value and the rich culture it represents.every toy has its impotence n values, they create their own impact the way u implicated.

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The ‘Wooden toys’ are the one of the ancient craft of Varanasi.

Varanasi, said to be the oldest living city in the world, we referred to called as “Banaras” and “Kashai”.  Varanasi is a famous pilgrimage spot for Hindus; there are number of temples on the banks of Ganges. Tourist visited Varanasi for the peace of mind and to wash away all their sins in the Ghats of river Ganges. That is how Varanasi Ghats consider as the place of divinity.

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photo credit: Muralidharan Alagar

 

The Art and culture of Varanasi is quite unique. It has rich cultural tradition with the combination of archaeology, mythology, history, geography and art that makes Varanasi a center of Indian culture. The ‘Wooden toys’ are the one of the ancient craft of Varanasi. The sets of birds, animals, orchestras, soldiers and dance ensembles are made in wood, gaily painted and packed in boxes. The toys can be found in all sizes — from a 1 inch mobile to a large 2 feet tall doll.

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photo credit: Prashant Sharma

The beauty of wooden toys is in the fact that they are carved by craftsmen and painted by them. They show a perspective of life. Craftsmen make them according to their knowledge of history, Indian mythology, Mahabharata, Ramayana, etc. Wooden toy makers are the few craftsmen, who are pursuing the art of toy making over generations. A set of artists are only skilled to make the toys of wood and finish the structure for paint and there are separate families of artists whose soul job is to paint the toys.

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The toys studied can be classified into following categories- religious, cultural, animals & birds, and traditional and modern toys. All these themes have toys treated in a different way—for example—religious toys are generally hand carved, and painted gaudily, they exhibit Indian motifs and patterns. These toys also tell mythological and religious stories of their time.

The cultural theme based toys shows the classes of society, the daily lifestyle and activity of the people in rural India and also some profession which were popular in ancient India. Whereas, the modern toys are generally 3 dimensional, made by turning and have modern patterns

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photo credit: Prashant Sharma

 

Selecting the right kind of wood for toys is very important. ‘Kemah, Chilbil’ and ‘Haldu’ wood is used for making toys but they largely use Chilbil. The wood block as per the size of the toy to be made is cut from the log. The piece is cleaned and sanded to get a smooth surface. The design of the toy to be made is traced on this piece. Extra wood is chipped off according to the design. Sometimes the whole toy is carved out from a single piece of wood whereas in some cases, different body parts are carved separately and joined together with adhesive

Carving is followed by painting. Bright and gaudy non toxic colors are used to paint the body. First, the toy is dipped in distemper. When it dries, it is neatly painted with duco white paint. Two such coats are applied followed by the last coat of lacquer to bring shine to the surface of the toys. In the process of fine painting work, brush made out of the hair from squirrel’s tail is used for painting. They do not finish one piece at a time. They prepare one color and paint all the samples in a batch of toys with it and let it dry before they start with the next color. In one day, one painter finishes at least 20 pieces.

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Lacquering is done on a lathe in the lac turning method. Lacquer ware toys are produced in this way. Thus, the craftsmen manipulate the stick where several colors are used. Some of the lacquered pieces are painted with a brush. Non-toxic colors or acrylic based poster colors are used.

Channapatna city is famous as “Gombegala ooru” (toys town) in Karnataka.

Channapatna city is famous as “Gombegala ooru” (toys town) in Karnataka. the name itself suggests what it is famous for- wooden toys. it is located in between Bangalore-mysore highway. Channapatna toy makers keep one of our oldest traditions alive, Channapatna  is  a small city  yet it has a prominent name in the field of art and handicrafts. The lacquered channapatna wooden toys are known for their highly fashionable appeal which is made with bright and vivid colours. The finishing of these wooden toys is very smooth and eco friendly.

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Tipu Sultan

History indicates that the origin of these toys can be traced to the reign of Tipu Sultan who invited artisans from Persia to train the local artisans in the making of wooden toys. Bavas Miyan is the father of Channapatna Toy. He is the one who sacrifice his life for channapatna toys. He adopted Japanese technology for toys making and help the local artisans improve their art.

Channapatna toys are made of a specific type of wood called “Aale mara” (Ivory- wood). For nearly two centuries, ivory-wood  the main wood which were  used in the making of these toys,though rosewood and sandalwood were also occasionally used.

Geometrical instruments like the vernier caliper and the divider is used frequently to measure the size and maintain the accuracy.at this stage the product is removed from the lathe and in case of two different parts they are assembled together and then followed with suface embellishment which involves other decorative adorning on the surface of the toy.

cat

the natural vegitable colour extracted from natural element as yellow from turmeric, blue and  black from indigo, orange from  kanchi kum kum power, red from natural alizarin and kum kum power, green from indigo and turmeric, light brown from katha, dark brown from ratanjyot. Vegitable dyes has high permanence and durability and  ensure that the toys and dolls are safe for the use of  children.

train

The real charm of channapatna is that the craft is not practiced in large-scale industries and factories,but within­­­ the confines of small homes.In  reality, the entire toy making industry is a small scale industry. Some are so small that the work is done right outside the homes of these skilled artisans. But the majority of them shop are where four to six people can work together. This aspect has certainly made a mark on the international circle.

It is said that the culture and food changes at every few miles in INDIA.

Kondapalli toys (Andhra Pradesh)

India is one of the most versatile and diverse countries in the world. It is said that the culture and food changes at every few miles in INDIA. Every region is unique in terms of art, craft, traditions and language. Among thousands of traditional styles in India, Kondapalli toys are distinct and special. They are not just decorative items that can be placed in the drawing room or the wall cabinet. They are the true reflection of the culture and tradition of Andhra Pradesh. It is an essence of excellent crafting skill and imagination. It is a small village near Vijaywada, the proposed capital of divided Andhra Pradesh.

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The toys bear a history of more than 400 years and it is believed that a group of craftsmen migrated from Rajasthan to Andhra Pradesh was the originators of this fantastic art. It is said that the ancestors of these sculptures carved beautiful images of Garuda, Lion, Nandi and other vahanas (vehicles) of gods and goddesses in the ancient temples of Andhra Pradesh. The tradition has been transferred from generations in the people of the “toy colony” of Kondapalli where almost everyone is engaged in preserving this magnificent art.Puniki wood is used for carving beautiful images. It is a white colored wood grows in the local region, and it is grown for making toys. The toys are stuffed with tamarind seed paste and sawdust to make them stable. Vegetable colors are used to paint the toys for the international market. Local people prefer oil paint or enamel. These toys depict farmer couples, decorated elephants, and palanquin bearers.

Wooden-Marriage-Pallaquine--blue

The raw material required for making these artifacts are- wood, chisel saw dust, muslin cloth, tamarind seed power, deer horn spade, water & vegetable dyes / paints. The wood they used is very light weighted.

The wood that they use are from the tree called “Tella Poniki’ and this grows in the forests nearby. The wood is heated / Sun dried and on heating / drying the weight of the wood reduces to 1/3rd of the original weight. Initially the karigars used Vegetable dyes for coloring and then migrated to synthetic paints and now they make in both the flavors. Vegetable dye based artifacts are bit costlier than the paint ones. The only dis-advantage of vegetable dyes are that when exposed to air conditioning for a longer duration they tend to absorb the moisture and become sticky. To avoid this the karigars apply an coat of sheenlac polish which gives a gloss finish but takes away the a bit of natural beauty of the natural look of the vegetable dyes.

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