Ettana-A Board Game that teaches a thing or two about Kancheepuram Weave

Ettana- The Looms of Kanchi will conduct you to the famous silk weaving town of Tamil Nadu. Developed by Bengaluru based designer Madhu Sundar, peacock hued game is adorned with traditional motifs — danseuse on the cover, action cards sporting Bharatanatyam mudras and vibrant colours to charm Indian sensibilities.

Rooted in the cultural aesthetics of Kancheepuram, the game allows two to four-player and comes with the board having 5×5 octagons, 36 different design cards and 36 different action cards (of 12 different types).

Apart from this there are coin tokens, coloured pegs in five different colours representing yarns and 18 numbered tiles. There are ‘anna’ coins (antiquated denomination of currency) that one has to collect, eight to win.

At start, the numbered tiles and coloured pegs  are placed at random on the board, as dice are rolled (one numbered dice & one colored for the pegs) — tokens are gained or action cards are picked from the stack. This is followed by the exchange of a design card or the execution of the action card.

The game is about replicating certain patterns on the board using the roll of dice and cards. There are 36 different designs varying in complexity. The first player who manages to create patterns worth eight annas, wins the 35-40 minutes-long game.

While designing the game, they have kept in mind to integrate the motifs which are inherent to the temple town of Kancheepuram. Apart from 12 different actions cards like move, swap, replace etc which are suffused with colours and scenery resonating the environs around temples in the background.

According to the Founder, Madhumita, “The concept finds its essence in the idea of depicting the workings of a loom onto a board game as to how the weavers come up with designs that are one-of-a-kind, which can’t be seen anywhere else.”

With the objective to introduce the glimpse of local craft to a global audience, the game is imbued with a series of colour and design etiquette.

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