Accepted Paper:

Kondapally toy makers: struggle for survival and identity  


Divya Teja Pasupuleti (University of Hyderabad)
Konala Sangeeth (Huedew Entertainment)

Paper short abstract:

The current topic is about toy makers of Kondapally, Andhra Pradesh, India who once lost demand for their toys resulting in an acute financial crisis and subsequently, the art form became endangered.

Paper long abstract:

At Kondapally, a village in Andhra Pradesh which is well known for the wooden toy makers, we observe people belonging to various castes and even religions practicing the traditional art form of toy making. Initially the art of toy making was brought into this region by a group of people who are called Nakashis belonging to a scheduled caste. Over time, the art of toy making became endangered and Government took measures to preserve the art form by inviting carpenters and people belonging to several other castes of higher and lower statuses to learn the art and practice it as a profession. . It is a scene where the indigenous toy makers with the advent of the Government programmes for the preservation of art form lost their identity as the founder group of the art itself. For the benefits that are being offered by the Government, we even see the people belonging to the castes of the higher social status to claim themselves as belonging to this founder group scheduled caste . This overlap of claims even further escalated the loss of identity of the indigenous people. Added to this, today there is a lot of competition from the Chinese toy makers and several other imported toys which have entered the indigenous markets as a result of globalisation.In the light of the events going on at this place, the discussion about the identity crisis being faced by the indigenous people and the situations thus prevailing are of focus for the current paper under proposal.

Panel P108
Indigenous people and culture in India