Channapttana toys are unique to Karnataka, and are world-famous. What do artisans feel about the future of this art?
Did you ever own small, bright coloured wooden toys? Every child in Karnataka might have owned the toy once in their life, be it a wooden horse or little wooden figurines. Ever wondered what they are called?
These dolls are called Channapatna toys that are manufactured in the town of Channapatna in the Bangalore Rural district of Karnataka state.
These toys are made from organic colours.
Listen to Narayanappa, who was branch manager of Cauvery emporium in MG Road, a local artisan, who talks about the making of the toys.
The tree known as Hale mara (tinctoris tree) is used for making Chennapatna toys. Flower vases are the famous of all. Key chains, many items and different toys are prepared. Vegetable colours are used, so that even if a kid keeps the toy in the mouth no toxicity enters the mouth.
It is mass production, not single toys. Each person prepares a single part, and then all of it is assembled by one person. Every home will have a lathe, and people sit at home and prepare toys. Right now the demand and production has gone down terribly, and the art of making toys is on the verge of extinction. Youngsters are not interested these days.
When Obama came the government did some improvements to the area so that it was presentable, then it was neglected again. Government should help by establishing factories, helping the artisans with wood, colours etc. There is no cordination between government departments, that is affecting the artisans.