A world in miniature, Karnataka’s dolls depict everyday aspects of life: a melting pot of regional, professional and social diversities. They represent popular characters from Indian mythology and folklore and often take the shape of birds and animals. The simple raw materials — cloth, clay, wire — which go into the making of these dolls belie the great beauty of the finished product as well as the variety: wire dolls, cloth dolls, cone dolls, stuffed dolls, and soft dolls.
The production of these dolls is extremely methodical. Wire is painstakingly bent to form the skeleton of the proposed doll, and the figure is wrapped tightly in cloth and stitched into a ‘skin’ of brown poplin cloth. The emerging figure is then dressed, ornamented, and painted.