Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ponki and other Kolu Dolls

For the festival of Navartiri in South India, each state has a different type of doll. For example in Andhra Pradesh, dolls of village life and deities are made of soft wood and are known as Poniki wood dolls. In the city of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, the delightful Tanjore dancing dolls move their heads and waists as any proper bobblehead would. Dolls in Rajasthan are made of colorful cloth and wood. In Karnataka near Bangalore, colorful wooden dolls are made, some depicting life in a village.

Above is an example of a Poniki wooden toy made in Andhra Pradesh.


Anonymous said...

Dear Melissa,
I came to Chennai only 3 weeks ago and your blog makes an wonderful opportunity for me to get information about the country and place I am going to life in for the next two or more years.
Last week, in our residence there took place an event and the management asked to donate dolls and sweets. Now I do understand!
However, I have another question and I hope you can help me: We are invited to a wedding between 6.30 and 7.30 am! Do you know something about Tamil weddings, and could you advice me what would be suitable to wear? Thank and regards Anne L.

Melissa Enderle said...

Dear Anne,
Hope you get this. Glad you found my blog to be helpful. You will find South Indians to be very kind and hospitable. Many speak English, so if you're comfortable with striking up a conversation or asking questions, go ahead!
You will find weddings in India to be a big event for the family and they love to share it with others. I have never been to a wedding at that time of the morning. My guess is that this is a Hindu wedding and there are some special religious or cultural ceremonies that occur then. Saris are the preferred wedding outfit for weddings. I'm sure your neighbors could advise you on where to buy one and a tailor that they use (or some stores have tailors attached) to make the blouse and finish up the sari bottom. A sari also requires a type of petticoat. My neighbor always "dressed" me when I wore a sari, tying it and pinning it so that it would stay. Otherwise, you could wear a nice salwar-kameez outfit (long top with loose pants). These come ready-made, or you can buy the cloth and have it tailored. Enjoy your experience!

Bibi said...

That's so cute. I am glad, however, that I am not collecting anything anymore, or hardly, since I'd probably have masses of this kind of folk art.

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