India’s affinity to fuse nature with culture is ever so prominent in the tale of Aditi and her vehicle consort, the rooster. This Etikoppaka duo is reminiscent of early mornings by the Indian countryside, where the rooster’s caw indicates the first ray of sunshine. It becomes part of the village ecosystem, contributing to warm memories from time to time. Oftentimes, these priceless Etikoppaka artefacts are so simple, yet so significant in their themes and relevance to the Indian experience.
Located on the banks of the pristine Varaha river in the Visakhapatnam district, lies the bucolic settlement of the Etikoppaka community — a giant handicraft legacy that has been passed down several generations. Among the most flourishing themes are canon toys indicative of the British era, the marriage and deity toys paying homage to India’s celebratory culture, and life in the countryside. During the making of this handicraft, a colourless resin referred to as lac is applied onto the surface, rendering a glorious sheen to the matte wooden surface.
The Etikoppaka artisan is an artist of the highest order, conjuring pleasing combinations of pastel blues and brick reds to evoke the earthy nature of handicraft. These elementary Etikoppaka handicrafts fit right into the Bommala Koluvu saga, speaking volumes about the lives of the people they represent. Helping these relentless artisan communities who have dedicated their time and devotion to indigenous art would see the collective rise of India’s very own handicraft industry.