Toys and Dolls have their own significance
in depicting the myriad forms of life, the people, their occupations,
their recreations, their happiness, sorrow etc. Putting them together can
give us a miniature world in its permanence, as art is everlasting. In
Andhra Pradesh, the Kondapalli dolls and
the leather puppets are the basic forms, the others being Tirupati dolls,
Nirmal toys and Etikoppaka dolls.
Kondapalli village, 16-km from Vijayawada, is the production centre for the famous Kondapalli dolls, made with a lightwood called 'Poniki'. This is a simple, yet expressive art form of the Andhrapradesh.
A warm and realistic style is used to depict themes centred around rural life, mythological characters, animals, birds and occupations - all in a combination of bright colours.
This art form has found many admirers in foreign countries. Practised by the local artisans, involving the entire family, this art is like a cottage industry. Since, the toys are priced low, they occupy a pride of place among the display items at many homes during Dasara and Sankranti festivals.
The wood is first seasoned, and then cut to the size of the toy. The contours are carved and every organ of the toy is separately joined with the body with an adhesive paste of tamarind seeds. The toy is then coated with lime glue.
The next stage is to paint the toy with brushes made of goat's hair. This traditional art has been handed down to successive generations and continues to be the main livelihood of the people of Kondapalli. The style is realistic. The lightweight Kondapalli toys are colourful wooden creations with high expressiveness and can adorn and further decorate any interior.
Another craft is the making of leather puppets. Leather puppets are a popular means of rural entertainment through the ages. Leather puppet making is a craft that has carved out a niche for itself in the state. The puppets of mythological figures are used to enact shadow plays, popularly called 'Tolubommalata'.
The leather puppets are made of buffalo or sheep hide, they are later bleached with local paints. Gods, Horses, elephants, warriors, fruits, cows, birds, deers are the popular figures made. Dharmarao Cheruvupalli in Nellore district, Nammalakunta in Anantapur district and Narasaraopet in Guntur district are the main centres for the production of leather puppets.
WHERE TO SHOP