Designer roped in artisans to develop indigenous games like Krazy Kolam and Paheli

Handmade Toys from India

Drawing inspiration from famous board games like Scotland yard and Scrabble, Kanaka Ananth, director of Maniams Design Studio in Coimbatore has launched a set a four indigenous games — Krazy kolam, Rangolio, Trikona and Paheli— at the India Toy Fair 2021.

Board games offer multiple chances to cheer one up while played in spirit of indoor sports, apart of fun and pastime activity, the idea of gaming night, especially in western countries is quite popular owing to the additive advantage of honing ones skills of making negotiations and using the better judgment.Hence the HR department of some corporates also use it as a instrument to analyse a candidate’s ability to work in a team.

Growing up in Germany and watching her family play the games like Scotland Yard, Scrabble and Monopoly for hours, Kanaka Ananth, an architect and student of the debutante batch of toy design course started in National Institute of Design was drawn to board games.

After working with Funskool as well as Creative Education Aids in Delhi, developing games on spellings, Maths Wiz and Amazing Me, and teaching the Industrial Design and Product Design at NID and at the DJ Academy of Design in Coimbatore, the concept of revolutionising the traditional Indian games dawned on her.

After conducting research on the designs from her mother-in-law’s kolam book to arrive at motifs and over 30 patterns ranging from simple to difficult levels and joining the wooden pieces (made from beech wood and rosewood to differentiate colours) to form patterns, she decided to rope in artisans from Karnataka for their lathe and lac work and Assam/Tripura for their bamboo weaving techniques, and Uttar Pradesh for their work on hard wood to make motifs. The Channapatna toy makers make the pawns for board games.

Eventually her hard work and determination fructify and four indigenous games developed by her — Krazy kolam, Rangolio, Trikona and Paheli have been launched at the India Toy Fair 2021, a virtual fair on Indian toys. Her Krazy kolam, a design patented product, has puzzles drawn from kolam, for the age group of six plus.

Maniams’ toys are shortlisted for the finals of All India Toycathon also include Paheli, a family game that can be played with two to four players. This game intends to incite curiosity in the minds of kids vis-a vis in Indian customs and help them understand symbols such as, why do we wear bindi? why we worship tulasi? Why do women wear bangles? Why do we break a coconut? Why do we place betel leaves in festivals? This game helps families understand symbols in a fun manner.”

In the order to ensure sustainability in the whole business, The toys are even packed in handmade bamboo baskets, made by artisans in Assam.

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