Tamil Nadu Artisans Create Colorful Clay Dolls and Bamboo Cribs for Christmas
Christmas is almost here and artisans are busy making colorful clay dolls and bamboo cribs for the festivity. Likewise, Tamil Nadu artisans are geared up with papier-mache and colorful clay dolls to celebrate the birth of Christ. Artists from Vilacheri village, Madurai, have made crib figures for Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Vilacheri is famous for these artistically crafted dolls. Artisans come from around 200 families in this rural village and have been in the traditional business of making clay and papier-mache dolls for festivals like Navratri and Dussehra, but the most in-demand dolls are those of Christmas, especially this season.
According to the artisans, the demands from neighbouring states and abroad from the NRIs had prompted them to start the production earlier this time around. The figures and dolls are custom-made as well. The customers give design or photograph of the figure of their choice and the artisans craft it.
The crib figures are usually made of clay since it is easily available and many people believe that they are symbols of auspiciousness and tradition. The orders from abroad are mostly for papier-mache dolls as they are lightweight.
Tamil Nadu: Artisans in Madurai’s Vilacheri make statues for the upcoming festival of Christmas. Artisans say, “We start preparing a month in advance to meet high demand for colourful statues”. pic.twitter.com/gKnTTc5NgH
— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2019
A crib set comprising of 18 figures is made to recreate the Nativity scene by putting on an exhibition of birth of Christ. The figures include infant Jesus, Mother Mary, and her husband Joseph. The sets are made to suit the requirements of the buyers and one set is available for a minimum price of Rs 100 and going up to Rs 5,000.
Women in the area run their own production units and have formed self-help groups. The doll-making business has made the women financially independent and has also instilled confidence in them. The government also helps them through loans.
In another city of the state, bamboo weavers in Coimbatore have been making eco-friendly cribs for Christmas.
The weavers carve cribs by cutting bamboo into small sticks. They have been working hard to meet the demands of their customers for eco-friendly cribs. These cribs will be used to set the exhibit of the Nativity scene on the occasion of Christmas. There is a lot of demand for these little huts among locals and neighbouring states.