‘Toy Story’ – Folk Toys of Punjab
The folk toys of Punjab are the amalgamation of the rich Punjab culture, social values and artistic minds. Since the ancient times, the making of these folk toys has been a part of their culture. The earliest handmade toys of Punjab can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization, from 2500 to 1700 BC. Small toddlers and children use the toys for playing while growing up. And even now the tradition of making and use of folk toys continues.
Among the most prominent toys of Indus Valley Civilization is the exceptionally large number of small terracotta carts. ‘Chankana’ – a kind of whistle and ‘Ghuggu’ – a kind of rattlebox are some of the other toys unearthed from the site.
With changing times there are many variations in the materials, design and use of these folk toys. The different varieties in these folk toys has made them so popular, that they are not just used for the children to play but also by the adults for decorative purposes.
The folk toys made in the village were usually made by the lower community known as “Tarkhans” carpenter. But now very few of these community people are associated with it and factories manufactured folk toys are more in demand.
The toys used for the girls and the boys are very different from each other.
The girl’s toys are the symbol of household objects and are used for entertainment purpose only. These are associated with the skills that should be learnt by the girl traditionally. The toys signify the girl’s role in the village and the family. There are no toys to increase the girl’s education and physical power. On the other hand boy’s toys are made for building strength and learning purposes.
Take a look at some of these handcrafted toys from the talented artisans in Punjab.