Toy Making in India



The craft of toy making is unique to each civilization and India is no exception. Children from Indus valley civilization used to play with small toys made of clay. Numerous figurines of animals have been found. Small toys like carts harnessed with oxen, having movable parts tell the expertise of the craftsmen engaged in making toys.

The traditions of toy and doll making in India are rich and diverse. A variety of material like, wood, clay, papier machie, leather etc is used in making ethnic toys.

Toys made in India not only cater to the dreams of a child but they are also associated with religious rituals and festivals. Toys are not only made in the shape of animals, birds, carts etc but toys and dolls are also made to depict gods and deities.

Kondapalli in Andhra Pradesh is known for beautiful wooden toys. Toys in the shape of birds, animals, mythological characters, models of fruits and vegetables etc are chiseled out of locally available wood. The colors applied are bright and these toys can also be used as decorative pieces.

Andhra Pradesh is also known for leather puppets, which generally are mythological figures. Some of these puppets are five feet tall and painted with vegetable dyes. Dolls from Tirupati are made out of wood and depict the

local deities. These dolls have religious importance and are revered. These toys are made from red wood.

Assam is known for toys and dolls made out of pith or Indian cork. These toys are brightly painted.

In Bihar, the entire story pertaining to the Shyama Chak festival is related and depicted through clay images. The story associated with the birth of Lord Krishna is depicted entirely with clay toys in Northern parts of the country during the festival of Janmashtami.

West Bengal is famous for stuffed toys made out of jute. Bengal is also known for terracotta toys. The Bankura horse is a splendid example of this tradition.

Madhya Pradesh is also known for toy making. Cute little dolls made out of small cloth pieces are produced in Gwalior, Bhopal and Jhabua. Craftsmen of Madhya Pradesh also make stuffed leather toys, which are gaily painted and generally depict various wild animals.
Banaras in Uttar Pradesh is known for lacquered toys and miniature utensils for children to play with.

Handicrafts Trade
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