Clay & Papier Mache Toys of Pondicherry

Clay & Papier Mache Toys of Pondicherry


Traditionally, the toy industry in Pondicherry used clay; now the material used is papier mache and Plaster of Paris. The craft is concentrated largely in Kosapalayam, a village near Pondicherry town. The toys depict all aspects of Indian life. They are beautifully moulded and attractive in appearance. The craftspersons belong to the kuyavar and kosavar community. The dolls represent different Hindu deities in diverse postures or as symbols of different characters. The style as well as colouring is natural. Figures that are part of ceremonial occasions are shown in orange or rose colour and grey is used to show those engaged in personal labour. If it is a marriage procession, the bride and groom are in orange or pink while the band, the torchbearers, or those carrying gifts are in grey. Passengers riding a vehicle or horse will be in orange or pink. In the case of Plaster of Paris toys, the entire surface is finished with only one colour --- white or cream or pale blue. The jewels and special clothes of deities are splashed with gold colour.

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