Kondapalli Bommalu, the traditional craft of making wooden figurines and toys in Kondapalli of Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, is set for a makeover.
The brightly coloured miniature bullock cart, which is usually gifted by Andhra Pradesh CMs and government officials to visiting dignitaries and foreign guests, will now be a “moving” one. The state government has called for designs from artisans of the small community that makes these handicrafts to develop a “moving” Kondapalli bullock cart, General Administration Secretary N Srikant said. The government has also announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh for the winning design.
Officials said that given the tough competition from cheaper Chinese toys, declining popularity of motionless toys, and shrinking number of families involved in Kondapalli Bommalu, the state government has decided to preserve this craft and save the artisans from penury by asking them to redesign models and make them more marketable.
Kondapalli toys are made by a community of artisans with centuries-old techniques. Their ancestors migrated from Rajasthan over 400 years ago and settled at Kondapalli, 40 km from Vijayawada, where they used soft white sandalwood from nearby forests to make the figurines.
There are only about 56 families engaged in the craft at Kondapalli at present, and only five families that make the iconic bullock cart. Five other families make the dancing doll, originally called Thanjavur Doll.