No waste of time

Published: Jul 12, 2019, 07:03 IST | Dalreen Ramos

This new workshop at a city museum teaches children to make traditional wooden Thaki dolls native to Sawantwadi, from scrap

No waste of time
Wooden thaki dolls with the one made from paper mache at the centre

Way before the arrival of multinational toy companies manufacturing figurines resembling characters from superhero flicks with sound effects into Indian markets, simple options made from wood, modelled after the human body, were enough to cheer or comfort a child. The history of doll-making can be traced back to 2000 BCE — remnants of which are still found in children's graves of ancient Greece and Rome. But closer home, in the Konkan region of Sawantwadi, they have a special meaning.

Thaki dolls are cylindrical wooden figurines bearing the illustration of a woman in a saree. It was presented to young girls before marriage by their mothers as a companion. These are usually yellow with a signature Maharashtrian print. And this weekend, children get to experiment with the craft at a workshop hosted at the Children's Museum in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS). "They've always been made out of wood; we have a few original pieces at the museum. These are now collector's items and so, we thought of making them out of waste," Meagan Vaz (designation) of CSMVS, who will be conducting the workshop says.

Meagan Vaz
Meagan Vaz

The session will be held over two hours and the main structure will be made out of toilet paper rolls. "This will then be layered with toilet paper using glue — making a paper mache. We'll then use sketch pens to draw over the figurine. All materials will be provided," Vaz says, adding that they will also deviate from yellow. "We also have the textile and costume gallery at the museum so we'll be drawing inspiration from there as well. The process also improves a child's motor skills and hand-eye coordination. At the end of the day, it is something that takes us back to our culture," she sums up.

On: July 13, 11 am to 1 pm
At: Children's Museum, CSMVS, Fort.
EMAIL: education@csmvs.in

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