Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shopping In Rajasthan

Toys And Dolls
Toy makers of Jaipur make elephants and horses of suffed cloth, decorated with tinsel & embroidered fabric. Paper - mache birds and animals are available in different sizes and colours and make an interesting buy.
Dolls are the representative of a nation and are the confluence of its different ages, time and culture. The rich cultural heritage through the ages can be vividly depicted through these dolls. Religion, nature and human interaction have been the three basic inspiring forces for artists down the ages, although the medium of expression has diffused from stone and canvas to cloth and celluloid.
From ancient times, dolls of various types fascinated men, women and children all over the world. Children in particular have found great fun and delight in dolls, which also help them to develop their intellect and imagination.
The history of India from ancient times to modern is recounted in a series of dolls. The simple folk of India find a place in dolls that project rural life. The vividly colorful Indian dances - be it Kathakali, with its complex grammar, or Bhangra, with its vigour and exuberance are also well depicted through dolls. Dolls act as cultural ambassadors reflecting 5,000 years of Indian civilization.
The Indian people have a very special affection for dolls. They are part of a tradition Indians have grown up with. At one time dolls were given away as wedding presents to the child bride. Today, dolls not only provide a diversion but also a colorful canvas for depicting Indian life in its plethora of cultural beauties.
Each region is known for its typical dolls and toys. Assam and West Bengal fashion toys out of pith. In the eastern terracotta belt, the theme of "mother and child" models, are popular. Varanasi, Lucknow, Mathura and Vrindavan are reputed for their brightly painted wooden dolls and toys, Tirupati for its dampati (man-woman) dolls. Rajasthan makes dolls of unbaked clay. In Madhubani, dolls are made of sikki, a grass. Kondapalli in Andhra Pradesh makes some of the traditional dolls and toys out of a mixture of cowdung, sawdust and clay and covers them with lustrous pigments.
From early times, various materials have been used to make toys and dolls. The oldest toys date back to 5,000 years ago, from the sites of the Indus valley civilization. Harappan art goes back to 3 millennia B.C and shows a high degree of proficiency, which suggests much earlier development. The perfect modeling of human and animal figures at Mahenjodaro and Harappa are testimony to the technical skills of craftsmen who could cast images in metal using the (now rare) wax process. They could cast in clay and chisel in stone with ease, creating an art, worthy of these great centers of civilization.

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