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Etikoppaka Toys

Etikoppaka Toys

In Andhra Pradesh, there’s this beautiful tradition of crafting traditional toys that has been going on for over 400 years. Skilled artisans in Etikoppaka village, nestled along the banks of the Varaha River in Visakhapatnam district, create these amazing toys. They’ve even earned a Geographical Indication (GI) tag, recognizing the unique identity of their craftsmanship.

About Etikoppaka Toys

  • These cool toys come from Etikoppaka village, hanging out by the Varaha River in Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Crafted by skilled artisans, these toys are like little pieces of art made from wood. The wood mainly comes from a soft tree called ‘ankudu’ (Wrightia Tinctoria).
  • The vibrant colors on these toys aren’t from regular paints. Nope, they use natural dyes extracted from seeds, lacquer, bark, roots, and leaves. It’s like a nature-inspired paint palette!
  • These toys are all about safety. No sharp edges here! They’re like the superheroes of toys, rounded on every side to make sure playtime is fun and safe.
  • In 2017, these unique toys got a special tag – the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. It’s like a badge of honor saying, “Hey, we’re from Etikoppaka, and we’re special!”

Why are they called Lacquer Toys? 

  • While making the Etikoppaka toys, lac, a colourless resinous secretion of numerous insects, is used.
  • The already prepared vegetable dyes are further mixed to the lac, during the process of oxidation.
  • After this process, the end product obtained is rich and colored lacquer.
  • The lac dye is used for decorating the Etikoppaka toys, which are exported all over the world.
  • Thus, the toys are also called lacquer toys because of the application of lacquer coating.

What is the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag?

  • It’s a special label on products that tells you they come from a specific place and have unique qualities or a good reputation because of that place.
  • For a label to be a GI, it has to show that the product comes from a certain location.
  • Geographical Indications are part of intellectual property rights, covered by the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  • In India, Geographical Indications are managed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
  • Yes, the first product in India to get a GI tag was Darjeeling tea in 2004-05.

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