Doll designer Sukanya of Shimoga with her collection of dolls. Photo by the author

While C S Sukanya’s collection of dolls and arranging them have won laurels, she has also carved a niche for herself as the fashion-designer of dolls.
She began arranging dolls from the early 80s under the guidance of her mother-in-law. Earlier, her collection was limited and she would use a lot of musical instruments along with the dolls.

Today though, Sukanya has more than 400 dolls in her collection. Hundreds throng to her house during Dasara in Basavanagudi area of Shimoga to enjoy the doll show.
Pattada gombe, majestic elephant carrying howdah, soldiers marching with discipline, and miniature palaces are all part of her collection.

Sukanya is now experimenting with themes drawn from the world of epics and myths while arranging the dolls. In the year 2007, she arranged dolls on the theme of Shankara Vijaya in which the life and achievements of Shankaracharya was depicted through the medium of dolls. Vitlapindi Utsava of Udupi, fests which figure in chaturmasa, Durgashtami are some of the other themes in her collection.
Along with arranging the dolls, Sukanya is also an expert in decorating them. The wooden dolls are brought from Tirupati, Channapatna and Tanjavur. She then takes up the tasks of stitching the royal apparel, bead work, and selecting the jewellery according to the shape, size and the expressions on the face of the dolls. The fashion-designer of dolls has customers from across the state now.

For Sukanya, arranging dolls during Dasara means continuing the tradition that she has inherited from her previous generations. It is also a means of expressing her creativity.
“Shaping the wooden pieces into colourful dolls amounts to instilling life in them; the task through which I realise motherhood,” she says.
The doll arrangement has won awards for Sukanya from Rotary, Friends’ Centre, Vikasaranga and other organisations.
Veerendra P M

A museum, home to rare artefacts
Mangalore’s Museum,  called Shrimathibai Memorial Museum,  is home to rare artefacts, dating back to Keladi Venkatappa Naik of 1624 and coins belonging to the East India Company of 1835.

The museum is also home to rare oil paintings, and metal idols of deities such as Nataraja and other artefacts made of sea shells. The museum was built by Colonel V R Mirajkar in memory of his mother Shrimathibai.

This is the only other museum apart from Dharmasthala’s Manjusha that has such rare artefacts.

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