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Thanjavur Thalaiyatti Bommai / Dancing Dolls of Tanjore, India

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

ॐ श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः ॐ श्री शिवानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री चिदानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री दुर्गायै नमः 

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The Thanjavur doll is a type of traditional Indian bobblehead or roly-poly toy made of terracotta material. The centre of gravity and total weight of the doll is concentrated at its bottom-most point, generating a dance-like continuous movement with slow oscillations.

Jai Shoppee Tanjore Dancing Dolls, 15-inch - Set of 2: Home &  Kitchen

These toys are traditionally handmade, finished with detailed, painted exteriors. They have been recognized as a Geographical Indication by the Government of India as of 2008-09.

Thanjavur doll or Thanjavur Thalaiyatti Bommai as the doll is popularly known is one of the traditional handicrafts of Thanjavur region of Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

It is a type of handmade doll which is made using traditional methods using very less mechanical tools. Special feature which differentiates this doll from others is its bobble-head and roly-poly structure. Doll’s head is larger than its body, hence it moves likes a pendulum and do no fall sideways.

Thanjavur Doll of Tamil Nadu – Asia InCH – Encyclopedia of Intangible  Cultural Heritage

Thanjavur dolls are basically made using terracotta clay, and are purely handmade and hand painted by skilled artists. The dolls and toys are given multiple shapes, sizes, colours and styles by these artists to represent various traditional dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Manupuri, etc. There are 4 different parts of the doll which give them their unique movements: legs, head, upper body and lower body.

Thanjavur dolls stock image. Image of colourful, dolls - 162200753

Local people of Thanjavur call it “Thanjavur Thalaiyatti Bommai” in Tamil which means bobble-head dolls or head shaking dolls. It is an ancient art of 19th century during the regime of Saraboji’s Kingdom.

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Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Though academically trained in modern Western Sciences, Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar is a crazy maniac of India's ageless, timeless ethnic arts, crafts & textiles. The rich & glorious cultural & spiritual heritage of India is a subject extremely dear to her heart, and the whole of this Blog has been dedicated to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide, to every nook & corner of the globe, through these simple Blog-posts. Any constructive criticisms & suggestions in this regard for improvement of the Blog 'MOST WELCOME'. Also, High-Quality Guest Blog-posts 'MOST WELCOME". LinkedIn Profile :