Navratri Dolls of South India

Golu dolls of Tamil Nadu are most prevalently used during the time of Navratri. Clay dolls also known as Man bommai/ Golu man bommai is the most common doll we have experienced or heard. In addition to this, there is also another doll which is very common but less known-The paper mache golu dolls. These dolls are lightweight and durable. The process involved in making paper mache dolls are less compared to clay dolls.People who purchase  this traditional clay dolls also purchase Paper Mache Golu Dolls for their Navratri Golu Celebration. Below listed the process, raw material and making of Golu paper mache dolls.

Required material:

For making, traditional handcrafted Paper Mache Golu Dolls you need:

  1. Mould
  2. Paper Mache Dough
  3. Cement Packing Sheet
  4. Gum
  5. Oil Paint

Preparing Process:

Paper Mache Golu doll making:

Mould Preparation:

Mould of Paper Mache is similar to the mould of Clay dolls. The Mould is created by making a new clay doll. Adding layers of POP and Cement over the dry clay doll leads to form a thick die/mould. 

Mould of Paper Mache Doll-Tamil Nadu

After preparing the mould, paper mache dough is prepared by mixing paper flour and adhesive agent. Dough is then rolled flat, pressed over the front and back moulds. The gum is applied on the pressed dough. Small pieces of Cement packaging cover are stuck over the applied gum. The moulds are then let to dry in sunlight. The dried doll is taken out of the mould. The extras on the side joints are corrected using a knife. Dough and fevicol is applied on the corrected areas to bring the doll to shape.Now both moulds are joined together by using pasai (gum) and dough. The open bottom is covered by placing cardboard or daily calendar cardboard that gives a complete finished look. (Click this link to check out the process of making paper mache dolls). Correction and final finish is done by hand. Colours are painted on the finished doll. After colouring, eye painting and ornament painting is done.

Perumal Doll- Paper Mache

Golu dolls of Tamil Nadu

Traditional Paper Mache Doll

End product:

Navratri dolls are one of the traditional handicrafts of Tamil Nadu  are called set dolls where majority of the dolls are sold as sets. The following dolls are very common during navratri seasons.These dolls are on demand only during the festive seasons like vinayagar chathurthi, navratri pooja, etc.

Traditional dolls of Tamil Nadu

saraswathi Papaer Mache Dolls

Tamil Goddess Paper Mache doll

  1. Dhasa Avatharam Set (10 dolls)
  2. Ashtalaxmi (8 dolls)
  3. Garuda Seva (40 dolls)
  4. Navagraha Nayagi (9 dolls)
  5. Arupadai veedu
  6. Krishna Leelai
  7. Brahma Utsavam
  8. Kalyana Set
  9. Thirupathi Set
  10. Car oorvalam
  11. Seemantham Set
  12. Annamalai
  13. Mupperum Devi
  14. Paandu Ranga perumal
  15. Settiyar Kadai Set
  16. Marapachi Bommai