90-year-old display tradition continues

Dasara dolls have been arranged for display during the Navaratri season in the house of Shyam Prasad in town for the last 90 years.

Display of dolls in households during Dasara is a convention that has come down through the ages. Such exhibitions attract spectators on the one hand and, on the other hand, provide inspiration to artistes.

Similarly, in the family of Shyam Prasad, there is a display of a total of 5,000 dolls this year. The dolls include animals and birds, among other sorts. Every mother presents her daughter during marriage a ‘Pattada Bombe’ – representing the King and Queen – to be displayed in the exhibition. Dolls made of ceramic, clay, plastic and wood find their own places in the exhibition. “Every year, some of the ceramic dolls get damaged when we arrange the entire collection,” said Shyam Prasad.

“We have been exhibiting the dolls from the time of our grandparents. Each doll that is displayed tells a story. Also, it was only during Navaratri that we worship all animals. Offerings are made to the dolls on all nine days of the festival, while children sing bhajans in the evenings,” explained N P Pankaja Sundar.

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