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Children’s Wooden Toys

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Children are known for their spontaneity, optimism, and carefree nature. That bubbling personality which makes the world seems like a better place has been shown to be contagious to adults and other children. Part of what makes a child so carefree is their desire to play with toys. Children’s wooden toys represent a unique subcategory of the massive $22 billion industry in the United States. Toys specifically originating in Channapatna, India will be discussed in this article.

Channapatna is a small city in India which is specifically known for their children’s wooden toys. The town’s industry is derived from small or advanced small industry and many of the local artisans are in charge of hand producing the toys. The colors are vibrant and plentiful as are the commonly productions. Wooden dolls, cars, blocks, drum sets, Russian dolls that are within each other, are all commonly found. The toys aren’t from the local culture, but stem from what the locals know other people will enjoy. For that reason, soldiers that resemble those that guard the crown in Great Britain or cars that resemble old automobiles from the 1930s in America are prevalent. American Indian miniature drums are found as easily as the rest on the street from local vendors.

Channapatna is famous for their children’s wooden toys because it is a large portion of the industrializing economy of the city. The history of their trade stems from a royal invitation from Tipu Sultan who invited Persian wood carvers to teach the local woodworkers how to make beautiful children’s wooden toys. For nearly two centuries the town has produced an abundance of toys, so much so that it earned a nickname. In the language of the locals “Gombegala Ooru,” or toy-town, or Karnataka, the province in which the city resides. The city of 65,000 is still known for their toy manufacturing primarily from ivory-wood, although rosewood and sandalwood were also used. In the modern days the woods have diversified somewhat to include rubber, sycamore, cedar, pine and teak. The history of toy making is part of the culture of Channapatna.

The city‘s reputation for the production of hand crafted children’s wooden toys is well earned when you consider how many people in the city choose the vocation for employment. Six thousand workers in over 250 homes and 50 small factories work tirelessly to produce the little toys. Almost 10 percent of the population is devoted to this form of employment. For this reason the government of Karnataka invested in 32 turning lathe machines to help spur the local economy. Along with this the government also brought one master craftsmen to the economy in order to make prototypes for the local artisans. From his template, the local artisans are able to produce an abundance of well designed children’s wooden toys. In order to be sure the economy would stabilize, the government of Karnataka and the Dutch government set to give out micro loans. These loans are very successful for small industrial applications where there simply isn’t the liquid money to purchase the minimalistic capital in order to begin production.

Over the course of this article we’ve traced the history and culture surrounding Channaptna’s industry for children’s wooden toys. With the culture and rapid growth of the state, it’s no wonder that the artisans are getting financial and capital assistance from the private and public sectors.