There are many enthusiasts who every year take pains to come up with a unique Kolu at their home. To provide relief from the clay and papier-mâché dolls, Tanirikaa offers its customers a wide range of intricately crafted wooden toys. Kondapalli and Etikoppaka in the southern State of Andhra Pradesh specialises in these toys. Made of soft wood and painted with vegetable colours, they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and shades. Madhavi Rao, proprietor of the shop, sources these dolls from marginalised craftswomen.
The name Etikoppaka brings to mind shiny, earthly, beautiful lacquer-finished wooden artefacts. It is an age old skill, specialised by people of the Koppaka village on the Eru (River Varaha), situated to the south of Visakhapatnam. The artefacts are named after the village they are produced in.
The people of Etikoppaka make wooden toys such as bike, scooter, cart, train, milk van, cranes, birds, candle stands, lid box for kumkum and turmeric, Ganesha idols, children’s kitchen set, door hangings, ear rings, bangles, mythological figures, and carvings.
Colours of the toys are harvested from roots, leaves, fruit, seeds, bark and lacquer. The wood generally used is soft and has very fine grains. This being a cottage industry, each artisan works in his own little hut, still using the primitive tools that his forefathers had used. These magnificently coloured articles are non-toxic and environment friendly.
Kondapalli wooden toys have a lifelike charm. Named after village Kondapalli, near Vijayawada, the toys represent themes taken from the artisan’s immediate surrounding. Toys are 15 to 80 cm in height and light weight, flexible and strong Puniki wood is chosen for making them. Both water colours and oil paints are used for painting the toys. Collections include toys representing mythological figures, rural life, and animals. These traditional folk toys are a reminder of our traditional values. Made painstakingly by hand, these toys are unique and aesthetically appealing.
For buying these toys visit Tanirikaa showroom at New No. 54, Old No. 16, Rajabather Street, (next to Rohini Lodge,) Pondy Bazaar, T. Nagar. For details, call 2815 1414. The shop is open from 10.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.