Kinnal or Kinhal Craft (Kannada: ಕಿನ್ನಾಳ ಕಲೆ), is a traditional form of wooden craft that originates from the town of Kinhal, located in Koppal District, Karnataka. This craft has been granted Geographical Indication number 159.
Kinhal craft is a relatively unknown craft of Karnataka, dating back to the 15th century. It originated during the rule of the Vijayanagara Empire when kings invited craftspeople from across India to work in their capital, Hampi. The craft practitioners of Kinnala are called 'Çhitragars', meaning the one who draws & paints.
Kinnal toys & idols are famous for their bright colours & typically showcase gods, animals, & everyday objects. Creating these toys & idols is entirely manual, delicate & laborious. The artisans use the "Ponki Mara", a tree native to the region, for its soft & lightweight wood.
The Kinnal artist follows a distinct process to create their wooden toys & idols. Firstly, they draw the desired character on a piece of wood & then roughly chisel it into the required shape. Next, tamarind seed paste & pebble powder are applied to the wooden piece before sanding it down. For larger toys or idols, the artist uses a mixture of ground tamarind seed paste, pebble powder, sawdust, & jute strands near the joints to ensure sturdiness. They also apply a paste of pebble powder & edible gum to create an embossed pattern wherever desired. Sometimes, layers of cloth soaked in tamarind seed paste solution are added to the idols for a better finish. Once the piece is finished & dried, chalk powder is used as base paint before painting the toys & idols in various bright colours.
Once a thriving craft, these days, with less than 25 families practising, the craft is suffering due to a lack of financial support, outdated design, innovative marketing & economic unsustainability.
Metaphor Racha has worked with the local artist Ramesh Kantappa Chitragar & tried contemporizing the design. We present to you a pair of "Gubbi" (Sparrow in English)
We find the craft of resilience in the delicate flutter of sparrows' wings while you discover the cheerful chirp of everyday craft happiness through your patronage.
|"In the hands of skilled artisans, the Kinnal Craft Sparrow becomes a canvas of history and innovation. Feel the warmth of tradition, and witness the evolution of craft as Metaphor Racha and local artist Ramesh Kantappa Chitragar unite to present you a pair of 'Gubbi.' Let these wooden sparrows carry the spirit of cultural resilience into your space."