There was no dearth of buyers for the statuettes of Onathappan and Mahabali, which witnessed a cracking sale on Saturday despite prices touching an all-time high.
Insisting that the paucity of clay and its current cost has a major impact on the prices, Kamalu, an artisan from Thiruvankulam near here said the soaring prices have not deterred the buyers in the city at all. Made of clay or mud, Onathappan is a small structure in the form of a cone with four faces and a flattened top. It represents Vamana, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu and Mahabali, the asura king.
Due to the significance of the Thrikakkara temple near Kochi (where Vamana is the main deity) in the origin of the ritual, the use of Onathappan as part of the ritual is mostly centered in and around Ernakulam district. Of late, the rest of the State has slowly begun adopting the ritual.
On the last day before Onam, a set of Onathappan, which comprise five pyramid-like structures and a couple of other statuettes, were sold at Rs.100.With clay difficult to come by, Onathappan made of wood and concrete blocks were also available in the market.
A newly introduced item, the doll of Mahabali, is also a huge hit among city shoppers this time. People from places as far as Alappuzha and Kottayam have been coming to purchase the item, which was sold at a price of around Rs.250 per piece, said K.K. Mohanan, an artisan from Kolathuruth near Muvattupuzha.