Etikoppaka is a small village in coastal Andhra Pradesh. About 65 km from Visakhapatnam, it is located on the banks of river Varaha. What makes it unique is that it has 200+ artisans who are engaged in making these handmade artifacts from wood – toys, games, curios, containers, and bangles popularly known as Etikoppaka Toys.
This delicate Veena is made of wood with a shining Lacquer finish at Etikoppaka.
Etikoppaka Wood & Lacquerware is the technical name of this woodcraft. Various forums like the National Innovation Foundation, the crafts council of India, and UNESCO Handicrafts have recognized these artists by awarding them. In 2017, Etikoppaka Toys received a GI Tag.
I was very happy to know that local corporate organizations like Novotel Vizag are supporting these artisans by using their products as corporate gifts.
Typical toys include spinning tops, rattle toys, dolls, colorful birds and animals, board games, and religious Murtis and related items. Lately, they are also designing home decor items and multi-purpose wooden boxes.
More on Etikoppaka Toys
The toys are made from a soft wood called Ankudu and are then decorated with lacquer, a natural resin. The dyes used to color the lacquer are also natural and are derived from seeds, bark, roots, and leaves.
They have a long history, dating back to the 16th century. The art of making these toys was originally developed by the local zamindar, or landlord, who wanted to create a way to generate income for the village. The toys quickly became popular, and are now exported all over the world.
Intricate Details and Bright Colors
The toys are known for their intricate detail and bright colors. They are often made in the shape of animals, birds, and people, and can also be found in more abstract forms. The toys are typically small, making them ideal for children’s hands.
In addition to their beauty, the toys are also known for their durability. They are made from strong wood, and the lacquer coating helps to protect them from the elements. As a result, these toys can last for many years.
Today, these toys are still made by hand in the village of Etikoppaka. The art of making these toys is passed down from generation to generation, and the skills of the craftsmen are highly prized. These toys are unique and beautiful example of Indian handicraft, and they make a wonderful gift for anyone who appreciates fine craftsmanship.
Some of the most popular toys
- Animals: Elephants, horses, bulls, monkeys, and birds are all popular subjects of these toys.
- People: Farmers, musicians, dancers, and other everyday people are often depicted in these toys.
- Geometric shapes: Circles, squares, triangles, and other geometric shapes are also common in these toys.
- Abstract forms: Some of these toys are more abstract, and do not represent any particular object or person.
They are a beautiful and unique example of Indian handicrafts. They are made from natural materials and decorated with natural dyes, making them a sustainable and eco-friendly choice. If you are looking for a special gift for someone who loves art or handicrafts, Etikoppaka toys are a great option.
To me, the toys looked very similar to the ones that come from Channapatna in Karnataka. Kondapally in Andhra Pradesh is another place where wooden idols and toys are made. Swantwadi in the Konkan region of Maharashtra is also known for wooden toys.
Can you spot the differences between toys from these different places?
Recommend you to read the following Travel Blog on places to visit near Visakhapatnam.