Indian Culture & Art in USA, a RedPatang.com Blog

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An Indian toy story

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Do you remember the toys you grew up with?  I had a little wooden owl that was simple with bright colors. It did not sing, did not move and maybe you could call it boring?  But I call it timeless – it was part of my make believe stories and one person plays and I remember it even today.   If you are looking for beautiful toys of yesteryear, look no further.

Between Bangalore and Mysore lies a small town called Channapatna.  Artisans in this town are keeping their toy making legacy alive today as they work with Maya Organic – an NGO that helps the toy makers earn a decent living from this dying art.

Image courtesy: Maya Organic

Using renewable hale wood, the artisans hand craft these beautiful toys and color them using natural dyes like turmeric and kum kum.  A coloured lac* stick is pressed against the wood while it is turning on the lathe. The lac melts due to the frictional heat and sticks to the wood.

Merry tops

Ma-Me-Pa

Gorgeous, aren’t they? These beautiful toys recently made a splash due to Michelle Obama’s interest during her last India trip.

*Lac is an organic non-toxic finish and can be used in food as well as non- food products. It has a tenacious adhesive quality sticking to anything from porous wood to glossy smooth surfaces.

Available at redpatang.com

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Written by Redpatang

May 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm

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