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Dancing Delights: The Allure of Thanjavur Thalaiyatti Bommai

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

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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

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

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