- Ambasamudram is a town in Tirunelveli District, Tamilnadu, India. Experts say the history of ambasamudram toys can be traced back to at least 300 years.
- Ambasamudram Bharani Mara Varna Kadasal Artisans’ Welfare Association has applied for a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Ambasamudram Choppu Saamaan (wooden toys).
- The MSME Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre of NABARD's Madurai Agri Business Incubation Forum acted as the facilitator for filing the GI tag.
- According to the application, the Ambasamudram toys are known for the vibrant colour, smooth texture, and simplicity of design. ‘Choppu saamaan' are wooden toys, including miniature kitchen utensils, tables and chairs. The toys are made using seasoned wood, natural colours and screw pine leaves.
- Earlier, these wooden toys were made from trees such as Neolamarckia cadamba, teak and rosewood. Since there is a shortage of these trees, the toy makers have shifted to making toys from rubber wood and eucalyptus wood that are brought from places such as Pudukkottai district. These toys are popular for their vibrant colours and low cost. These eco-friendly wooden toys were part and parcel of every child few decades back. With the passage of time, these wooden toys were replaced by plastic and electronic toys, but now they are making a comeback.
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