Dolls & Toys of Orissa

Burgarh in the Sambalpur district of Orissa is famous for its artistic wooden toys. The animal figures are richly carved and, at times, even carry riders. One of the most striking toys is that of a lion with a fat and majestic body and a big thick mane with its face and head richly ornamented. The toys are generally painted a light cream colour and made with finely textured wood, the local name for which is gamhari, which is brightly painted.

Wooden painted toys are also made in the Bargarh area of Sambalpur in Orissa which depict birds and animals, images of gods and goddesses, and human figures. These toys are carved in folk style with great skill and are brightly coloured. Gamhari is the local wood used for the carvings as it has a fine texture and is light-cream colour. The other articles include boxes, lamp stands, and other items for household use.

Wooden toys here are also made in Puri. These are painted but are quite abstract in composition. The handiwork includes figures of Lord Jagannath, Subhadra, and Balaram, popularly known as ?Bara Thakur?. This work of art is rather peculiar in the sense that they have huge heads, round or elongated eyes covering half the face and the hands are short and stunted. They have no legs and are always found squatting on the ground. One of the popular figures is that of Ravan with 10 heads in bright colours.