Marapachi

Marapachi is a wooden doll, usually acquired as a male-female pair. These dolls are made of a special kind of wood commonly found in the forested Tirumala hills. The carvings rendered on a block of wood is minimalistic, a few strokes capture the mood and temperament of the doll and give a character that makes the doll real for those who own it.

There is a strong family tradition attached to the possession of marapachi. These dolls are handed down generations, there is always a couple of marapachi dolls in each family coming down from a few generations. 

Strangely these are not dolls that are given to children as play objects. Marapachi dolls are given to a couple during marriage and that is why the male-female pair holds significance. Playfulness that seals a meaningful relationship is signified through this gift.

My marapachi dolls  are rounded, exhibiting flab and paunches and sporting a mischievous smile. In my sketch, I have rounded the dolls further, the female doll appears like the mother goddess of fertility from the Indus culture. I have sketched on a dark brown tinted paper, using wax crayons.


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4 thoughts on “Marapachi

  1. Interesting write up and a very nice sketch. Though my wife and I do not own marapachi dolls your post has brought back pleasant childhood memories.

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