Channapatna toys

Context: During an event, the Prime Minister, revealed the mascot for the International Museum Expo, which was a modernized rendition of the iconic Dancing Girl from Mohenjodaro. According to the Ministry of Culture the adaptation is not a transformation or reimagining of the original artwork but rather an inspired craftwork. The traditional craft of Channapatna toys, protected by a geographical indication (GI) tag, was employed in creating this mascot.

Channapatna Toys

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  • Channapatna, widely recognised as the ‘City of Toys’ or the ‘Toy land of Karnataka’ is located in the Ramanagara District of Karnataka. The town is renowned for its exquisite toys produced by local small-scale industries. 
  • History: 
  • The history of Channapatna toys dates back over two centuries. Tipu Sultan (1750-1799) encouraged Persian artisans to come to India and teach the local craftsmen the art of making wooden toys. 
  • One of the prominent figures in the development of Channapatna toys is Bavas Miyan, who dedicated his life to assisting local artisans, introducing new technologies, and enhancing the art of toy-making. 

Material used:

  • Toys are crafted from soft ivory wood, known as Doodhi wood or Milkwood, is white in colour and easy to work with. The wood is meticulously carved and given a polished appearance.
  • Vegetable dyes are used for colouring the toys, ensuring that they are chemical-free and environmentally friendly. 

Toy making process:

  • Traditionally, the process involved coating the wood of the Wrightia tinctoria tree, locally known as Aale mara (ivory-wood), with lacquer.
  • The manufacturing process has diversified over the years. In addition to ivory-wood, other woods such as rubber, sycamore, cedar, pine, and teak are now utilized.
  • The manufacturing stages include wood procurement, seasoning, shaping, carving, colouring, and polishing. 
  • Wide range of varieties: In addition to dolls and horses, they include mathematical games, puzzles, showpieces such as vintage cars, beaded curtains, pen stands, snails, candle stands, and more. 
  • The traditional craft has gained recognition as a geographical indication (GI) under the World Trade Organization and is overseen by the Government of Karnataka. 

Practice MCQ

Q. Regarding ‘Channapatna Toys’, often seen in news, consider the following:

1. Use of ‘Aale-mara’ is associated with the Channapatna toy making process.

2. Use of synthetic dyes for colouring has created environmental degradation in the streams located near by this toy making industry.

3. Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, is associated with patronizing the art of Channapatna toy making.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Scroll down for answer










Answer: (a)

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