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Kondapalli Toys - Invaluable treasure of Collectibles and Art
Why Kondapalli Toys are great?
You might be wondering what are these Kondapalli toys and why I am giving so much importance to them. So, I must clear your doubt and prove why these toys are an invaluable asset to you.
- Kondapalli Toys are a distinctive type of wooden toys which can be identified and isolated among a large group of toys.
- They are famous for their unbreakable light-weight, their beautiful artistic work, the use of herbal colours and their mythological rural life themes.
- They are the most appealing type amongst all vintage toys.
- They can be preserved intact for ages and passed on to generations as valuable collectibles.
- One more fact is that these kinds of rare artistic talents need to be protected by all of us by encouraging them so that they can earn their living and also pass on the tradition to their children with no fear of insecurity.
Introduction to Kondapalli the hub of Toys
Kondapalli is a small town/village near Vijayawada of Andhra Pradesh in South India. It is 16 km away from Vijayawada on National Highway 221. It is famous for its toys known as Kondapalli toys which are cherished as rare collectibles by royal families as well as common people. It is also famous as a tourist place because of its historical fort and a large reserve forest which is the hub for many varieties of leopards, wolves, and jackals. Presently this historical fort is in ruins and steps are being taken to protect it as a heritage structure.
Kondapalli toys depicting a tradesman and his wife
The toy making village
Kondapalli is 16 km from Vijayawada city.
The ancient fort which is in ruins and is a popular tourist place now with wild animals in the reserve forest.
The Kondapalli Toys and other handicraft works are exhibited and sold here.
The toy making industry
The toy making art of Kondapalli dates back to 16th century A.D. when the original skilled craftsmen from Rajasthan state moved to this place in search of their livelihood due to political disturbances and other reasons. They found the wood available at Kondapalli perfectly suitable for their art. So they settled down there and began making beautiful toys with their artistic skills.
- Originally the toys were intended to be playful items for children.
- But later they discovered that people from rich families and far off places bought these toys more for keeping them as collectibles and for doll houses and festival decoration purposes.
So they began producing more and more toys in large quantities by sharing and passing on their skills to their kith and kin. Thus, it became a famous toy making hub with entire members of their families participating in toy making and its popularity spread to all corners of the country through visitors and tourists and even to other parts of the world.
But later on, mechanisation of every field has resulted in decreased popularity of these toys as modern age children and adults favoured electronic toys more than these hand-made toys ignoring the artistic value of these treasures.
Recently the government is giving support to this art to protect and safeguard the interests of these artisans by spreading awareness and promoting the interest of these toys among public through exhibitions and sales counters at all handicrafts centres and tourist hubs.
A slide show of toys made at Kondapalli
How do they make Kondapalli Toys
Toy making is a very lengthy, time-consuming job with a lot of procedures and steps involved in it.
- Just like you draw images, here, you are carving the images on wood with a chisel and knife.
- It involves chiselling again and again until you reach out to the finest shapes that you may desire.
- You may need to shape the face, eyes, nose, body, limbs of humans and animals that require great concentration and effort.
- Much skill and patience are required for this job. Continuous practice combined with hereditary bequeath makes it perfect.
As I told you already, they make it from the locally available special soft wood known as "tella poniki" (a white wood) which makes carving a bit easier for them.
- After the toy gets its complete shape, it is vibrantly coloured using home-made herbal colours.
- The eyebrows, nasal linings, facial expressions, everything is artistically incorporated with these colours.
- Mostly men do the carving work and then, women do the colouring work. Both are important for making it a perfect doll.
- They take themes from the real life in the village and carve the patterns.
- In some of the dolls, like the village maid, they incorporate springs also to make it a swinging doll with head and body movements making it very appealing.
It is difficult to express everything in words. Only, we can experience the entire thing by seeing these artisans while preparing the toys and then witnessing and enjoying the enchanting art and beauty of these toys.
Carving the face of a doll - A sample video
A woman shaping the eyes, nose of Kondapalli Dolls with colour
What do You think?
What is your Opinion about these Kondapalli Toys?
Highlights of Kondapalli Toy art
- These Kondapalli Toys are distinct in their nature and are not to be found at any other place.
- These toys are made by skilled artisans with a special kind of wood available only at this place of Kondapalli.
- Entire family members participate in this toy making with deep love and interest in this art.
- This toy making art is their treasure which they bequeath to their descendants.
- Entire work is based on real life themes and natural events.
- Herbal, home made colours are used in colouring these toys making them eco-friendly.
- These toys are collectibles and their possession is a pride for us.
Passing on the Kondapalli toys to coming generations
I hope you appreciate my presentation of the importance of this specific variety of vintage toys and recognise their value and beauty. These toys are definitely worth for your drawing room to increase the glamour and appeal of it. They are best for preserving them for many generations to come without any damage and pass on as a treasure to your heirs. You will be glad to see that they definitely appreciate this invaluable treasure of artistic toys you have gifted them with so much love.