Marapachi Bommai (Wooden Dolls)

Marapachi Bommai refers to traditional wooden dolls that are popular in the southern parts of India, particularly in the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These dolls are often displayed during the Golu festival, a traditional Hindu festival celebrated during Navratri, which is a nine days festival dedicated to the goddess Durga. 

Marapachi Dolls are a pair of male and female dolls dressed in wedding attire which are the most essential part of Navarathri Golu Festival. A particular tradition followed in South India is to present the Marapachi Dolls to newly married couples for their children to play with. They mark the start of the bride’s Golu dolls collection, which increases over a period of time in addition to various dolls made of clay.

The term “Marapachi” translates to “wooden doll” in Tamil, and “Bommai” means “doll” in Tamil as well. These dolls are typically made from a special kind of softwood and are crafted with intricate details. They are painted in bright and vibrant colors, and some sets of Marapachi Bommai represent various deities, while others depict traditional characters or themes. 

During the Golu festival, these dolls are arranged in a specific order on the steps built for display of dolls. The Golu display often includes dolls of gods, goddesses, saints, animals, and sometimes scenes from mythology. The arrangement is not only decorative but also has a cultural and religious significance. 

Marapachi Bommai dolls are not only displayed during festivals but are also considered auspicious and are sometimes given as gifts during weddings and other special occasions. They are cherished for their craftsmanship and cultural significance, representing a longstanding tradition in the South  Indian region.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *