Andhra Leather Craft
This translucent leather painting art form from Andhra Pradesh is used to make puppets for the popular shadow-puppet theatre tradition of Andhra Pradesh -‘Tholu Bommalata’- literally meaning “the dance of leather dolls’. An ancient practice, wandering entertainers have for centuries disseminated the knowledge of Hindu epics and local folk tales to the remotest corners of the region, through this art form and tradition. The raw materials used are Goat hide and sheepskin and the colours used are derived from vegetables dyes. Creating small holes inside the decorative patterns enhances the attraction of the items, which is done using a pogaru (chisel). The painted piece is dried in sunlight over two to three days. Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata inspire artisans to create these beautiful items in a wide range of shapes, sizes and utility varying from paintings to lamp shades or puppets as a vibrant and unique work of art to liven up a wall or a corner. Lampshades are created using a mould and most of them are based on mythological figures.