Wooden Dolls of Kondapalli, Andhra

The wooden dolls of Kondapalli are famous throughout Andhra Pradesh. These are crafted by artisans known as arya kshatriyas who use the soft poniki wood to create themes to include everyday scenes from village life to figures of deities including the ten avataras or divine manifestations of Vishnu. The dolls are realistically crafted with a lot of skill and are made in various sizes with each one having a distinct identity and beauty.

The process is long and each detail is worked out with patience. The process starts with each wooden piece being subjected to slow heating to draw out all the moisture. Each limb is separately carved and joined to the body with an adhesive paste of tamarind seeds and given a coating of lime glue. This is followed by painting the doll with water or oil colours with the help of fine brushes. Similarly, birds like swans, peacocks and parrots are also crafted.