The unique miniature wooden lacquered toys handcrafted and painted with beautiful natural colors and non-toxic products by artisans of Tirunelveli’s Ambasamudram for at least 200 years might soon get a Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Locally known as ‘choppu saamaan’, the Ambasamudram Bharani Mara Varna Kadasal Artisans’ Welfare Association has applied for a GI tag.
Ambasamudram, a municipality in the Tirunelveli district is very famous for making these miniature kitchen sets for children. Most of us would have our best childhood part with these miniature wooden kitchen utensil toys which are absolutely real looking and sturdy in their quality and colors.
Though these miniature toys are sold throughout the year, they face predominant sales during the month of September where the festival of dolls ‘Navarathri Golu’is celebrated widely in Tamil Nadu.
Even as the wooded doll market is undergoing variety of changes and witnessing innovation in terms of the mechanism to make them, yet the artisans in Ambasamudram still go with the traditional method of making toys.
These eco-friendly toys are recyclable since they are made from natural resources like natural colors, screw pine leaves, a tropical plant biologically referred to as Pandanus amaryllifolius, seasoned woods and are non-toxic compounds.
The famous Hindu festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu during the month of September, ‘Navarathri Golu’ popularly carries miniature toys of gods and goddesses for special worshipping. The artisans are also exemplary creators of not only miniature idols of gods, kitchen utensils and spinning toys, but are also adept at crafting other materials like jewelry boxes and toy materials like trains, airplanes and other miniature models.