February 01, 2007

Toy Story

  • I have from time to time introduced Anush to indigenous Indian toys. I refer not to the Funskool - MRF variety but the lovingly handcrafted toys of yore- eco friendly, colourful, economical and good looking. They are sometimes a little heavy ( being wooden) and therefore potentially dangerous if Anush decides to whack them or throw them about. But so far, these ethnic playthings have only been cause for fun. Here are some of them:


  • A dried & painted palm leaf cube that doubles up as a rattle. It can be easily made at home and contains some tamarind seeds for the noise.
  • A set of Etikoppaka ( from Andhra Pradesh) - train, rattle, Russian dolls interpretation that go one into the other, Ganesha pencil sharpener, telephone
  • An assortment of spinning tops from Tamil Nadu
  • A set of fruit jigsaws from Pondicherry( Banana/ Pineapple/ Tomato)
  • A mouse from Mysore
  • Could not resist adding the set of Elephants from Sri Lanka

Do share what you have on these lines with Anush and me. Else hope you acquire some for your own collection. (and you need not be a child to be a toy patron)

And while you are at it , visit here to trigger your interest in Indian crafts of all kinds. It seems to be a very painstakingly collated site that is as interesting as it is informative. I chanced upon this when I was looking for the origin of the word- "moda" or "muda"

22 comments:

itchingtowrite said...

i like anything wooden. gives me a sense of authenticty and ethnicity. i like the jigsaw/ blocks that fit into the slots.. as of now my kids like to remove them from teh slots and throw them away .. and they clap for me when i put it back.

Noodlehead said...

i have a lot of wooden toys from my childhood - among these are a building block set and a cute rattle! i'm hoping to make these my baby's first toys too :) the funskool-mrf stuff just isn't the same or maybe i'm a little old-fashioned :-P !

Noodlehead said...

i have a lot of wooden toys from my childhood - among these are a building block set and a cute rattle! i'm hoping to make these my baby's first toys too :) the funskool-mrf stuff just isn't the same or maybe i'm a little old-fashioned :-P !

Hip Grandma said...

Anush seems very happy with her collection of toys.Let her play with them as long as she can.Don't make her a mini adult!!

artnavy said...

noodle- all the best and really hope u have a cool delivery

itchy- have not yet got that

HHgmom- welcome back. Oh yes! Anush is happy with these toys. Which is why i hope other folks will also share in that. And you will be surprised at how SHE is making an adult of me :-)

Sanjay said...

I like the way you are doing this.. cool!

devendra.r.deshpande said...

I suppose you are looking for toys for toddlers (2-3 year olds), right?

There's a little drum with two sticks tied that you can pull along (has two wheels, like a bullock-cart). And when you pull it, the sticks beat the drum and make a noise that the kids especially enjoy (and parents absolutely hate after a week of that :-).

There's a sort of a rattle that has a wooden drum on a stick to which a string is tied with a heavy object.

You know, now that you mention it, I'll make sure to get a few pics for you. Surajkund mela is coming up here in Delhi, and Delhi Haat also has a bunch of stalls with traditional wooden toys ...

:-)

Praba said...

nice topic you've chosen to write about. I am a big fan of lacquered wooden toys for my little ones. Two places I shop from in chennai for ethnic toys - Manasthala in cenotaph road, and cottage industry in temple towers.. Will certainly send pictures of the toys...In fact, there is one Maya Organics in Bangalore that is a nonprofit that promotes these toys, and helps the laborers earn a fair wage...these toys serve a good cause - environment, culture and people! Will post links on my blog soon about fair trade toys!

thanks for starting the discussion...

Orchid said...

art,
I love ethnic indian toys too..I bought some in India...but the horrible mom that I am..I would rather use them as home decor rather than let A play with it :) I love the wooden toys form Chennapatna
and pray tell me what software you are using to do your photo montage...well you did get me started on posting A's pic, so...

Will check out the site.

@ said...

oh, this has to be my favorite post from you yet!! :) Thanks a mil for the links and the resourceful comments. we have a couple of wooden rattles that K plays with even now. I need to get my hands on the russian dolls style wooden ones!

KK said...

Wow! thats a kewl list of ethnic toys... It reminds me of my sister having some wooden kitchen toys when she was small :)

lalitha said...

I remember having all those wooden toys growing up.especially liked the chennapatna toys from mysore,don't know if they make them any more.they were so colorful.

Fuzzylogic said...

I love the wooden toys,I used to have my own wooden toy collection from Channapatna especially the dancing dolls,rattles and even animals and carts.My granny introduced these to me and she herself had a huge collection of them and come Navrathri our home used to be eye sore of everyone in the neighborhood with grams decided to show case her entire collection:)Anushka has a good collection too I can see.They are really cute.But as you say you got to watch around with kids and such toys until a certain age atleast.I plan to get some too for my little girl once she gets a little more older.This post brought back so many memories:)

artnavy said...

Sanjay- thanks

DD- hope you do not mind the nick. That is really so kind of you and I visited your blog. Mighty interesting stuff u have there. Will get the drum roll , sounds less irritating than squeaky shoes and the plastic drummer elephant from China

Praba- thanks for the info- will go to maya organics when i am in Blore- my purchases are the same places in Chennai plus Dakshin Chitra and VTI ( ref my older post on it)

Orchid- I was the same. I still do not give ANush all the tops, she just bangs them up and they lose the tip. No big software. Vanilla powerpoint converted and saved as jpeg files.

@- Thanks. Japan also has some incredibly beautiful dolls in wood I hear

KK- i had a kitchen set in " stainless" steel as they say- but it is too dangerous to give Anush

lalitha- like I said you need not be a kid to play with toys or enjoy them

fuzzy- join the club-looking for a dancing doll- next time i guess I got to Mysore

Gabdu's Mommy said...

Hey nice toys and nice post because most of us do forget these simple nice indian toys and go for expensive/noise making toys from the west ! I need to add to Gabdus toys.. I have teh tops and a pull along from Rajasthan but o/wise not too many others .. Wud luv to have the jigsaw one

Patti said...

hi...those Srilankan elephants look familiar :)

Something to Say said...

good job art. nothing beats ethnic toys.....

artnavy said...

patti- never had such a timepass business trip as that one!!

How do we know said...

This is maybe the best thing i have seen in aloooong time.. indian toys to play with.. wow!!

How do we know said...

This is maybe the best thing i have seen in aloooong time.. indian toys to play with.. wow!!

How do we know said...

oh, and try the papier mache from Bengal.. they dont even hurt when hurled :-)

Usha said...

I love these too. I tried gifting some channapatna dolls for some children but the parents told me that the paint is toxic for the kids - so I stopped giving them as gifts.