Friday 10 February 2017

Marapachi wood dolls of yore

Marapachi dolls (Marapachi bommai)
                    These were wooden hand crafted dolls originally made in Andhra Pradesh state confined to the sacred town of Tirupathi, the holy land of Lord Balaji it is because these dolls were made from the valued Red sanders wood which is found only around the forests of Tirupathi., and nowhere else. These dolls always comes in pairs of identical size, shape, height, wood grain and texture. To achieve this they select a round block of red sanders wood of desired height and width, then the wood is slit exactly in the centre to form two semi circular cylinders and hand carve the pairs from each block. As a result the two pairs will be strikingly beautiful. The reason behind selection of this particular wood is an interesting story, the red sanders wood is known for its digestive properties, skin soother, wound healing abilities, etc

                    Every south Indian girl is entitled to her precious pair of Marapachi Bommais at the time of her marriage. Tradition dictates that the bommais are brought out in display, every year, at the time of Navarathiri. The bride's parents present the bommais (dolls) to the bride and initiate the yearly tradition of Navarathiri Gollu in her new home with her husband. These bommais come as couples dressed in their wedding attire, signifying the start of the bride's Gollu collection, which then grows over the years with the addition of various clay dolls from the southern part of India.

Authored by 
Sridhar, MBA, MTM, MHRM.,
Founder - Indian Antique Quest 
Antique Curio Etailer 
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