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6th January 2024 (12 Topics)

Etikoppaka toys

Context

In his Mann Ki Baat address Prime Minister made a mention about ‘Etikoppaka toys’ of Anakapalli district. Calling for India to become a global hub for toy production, with the slogan ‘vocal for local toys.

About

About the Toy

  • Made in the Etikoppaka region of Andhra Pradesh, these toys are made with lacquer color and are traditionally known as Etikoppaka toys or Etikoppaka Bommalu.
  • The village is very famous for its toys made of wood. The toys are also called as lacquer toys because of application of lacquer coating.
  • The toys are made out of wood and are coloured with natural dyes derived from seeds, lacquer, bark, roots and leaves.
  • The wood used to make the toys is soft in nature and the art of toy making is also known as turned wood Lacquer craft. While making the Etikoppaka toys, lac, a colourless resinous secretion of numerous insects, is used.
  • The already prepared vegetable dyes are further mixed to the lac, during the process of oxidation. After this process, the end product obtained is rich and colored lacquer.
  • The lac dye is used for decorating the Etikoppaka toys, which are exported all over the world.

Historical legacy

  • The Etikoppaka toy industry is believed to be around 400 years old. D. Sanni Babu, a 60-year-old senior artisan from the village, reminisces about the early days when some craftsmen made small wooden bowls and boxes for household purposes.
  • These versatile items found utility in storing salt, turmeric, and other aromatic substances, with women especially preferring them for keeping ‘kum-kum’ or their precious gold jewellery.
  • Initially, these wooden creations were sold at stalls near temples and during weekly markets, better known as ‘vaaram - santha’.
  • Over time, local kings, zamindars, and landlords began placing orders for these wooden products, utilising them both in kitchens and as decorative elements in homes. The turning point in their history came when artisans ventured into crafting toys for children.

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