DOLLS OF INDIA
Here is a set of costume dolls that represent a cross-section
of the people of India, with their diverse but distinct characteristics-painstakingly pieced together in accurate, aesthetic,
authentic detail-in dress and in their jewellery, each doll a miniature piece of its human counterpart, which spells out the
unity in diversity that marks India as unique among the comity of nations.
I obtained these dolls from the Shankar's International
Dolls Museum. Made of clay and papier-mache, Height approx. 15"
The men of Gujarat are distiguished by their
many folded turban of flame red colour, fancy shoes with upturned toes, gold ear-rings and finely cut kediyas (shirts),
all lending a distinguished elegance to their apearance.
The women wear ghagras (shirts)
of a reddish brown or black with the most sophisticated stitches, they work long hours embroidering birds, flowers, figures
and patterns that are either square or circular and with buttonhole sitiches fix mirrored glass on to their skirts, which
dazzle as they move in the sun.
|JAMMU AND KASHMIR
|BRIDE AND GROOM
Jammu & Kashmir is the northernmost State of India and
is popularly called the Switzerland of Asia. It is one place in India where the Hindus and Muslims dress alike.
Both men and women of Kashmir wear
the SALWAR-a pair of baggy trousers. The upper garment is a long gown called the PHIRAN.
The Kashmiri bride wears a PHIRAN
richly embroidered in gold and silver or both. The head dress consists of a veil thrown over the head. The large bunches of
ear-rings, called KUNDALS, covers the ears.
|Woman from the Bondo Tribe
|Tamilnadu and Muslim from U.P.
Manipuri is the dance form prevailing in Manipur, one of the
north-eastern states of India. This traditional art once centred around Siva and Parvati. With the advent of Vaishnavism in
the 18th century, it began depicting the life of Krishna and his consort, Radha. It is since known as "Ras". The graceful
elements of this form, together with the devotional lyrics, make the Manipuri an expression of the inner longing for a union
The female dancer wears an ankle-length skirt of coloured
satin, heavily embroidered and ornamented with sequins and tiny mirrors. Over this is worn a transparent silver-striped skirt
made of pineapple fibre that reaches the knees. The blouse is of velvet; a veil, also made of pineapple fibre, covers the
face. Rows of pears on the arm, neck, and head are the only ornaments.
The faces of these colourful
Bhangra Dancer dolls are moulded with well painted features, the bodies are made of brown cloth and are in a dancing
pose, on a black wooden stand. They were made in India by Aspra Dolls. Height 10 "
Bhangra is a vigorous dance with its roots in
Punjab in northwest India and Pakistan. The dance is performed to celebrate BAISAKHI (the Harvest Festival). The dance movements
are said to depict the cycle of Ploughing, Sowing and Reaping.