Wooden Tales from Thammampatti
Thammampatti is a small village near the foot of Kolli hills. The region was ruled by several empires, including the three great empires – Chera, Chola and Pandyan, which shape the region’s cuisine, culture, and architecture.
Famous for fine wood carvings, the community of people here excelled in this form of art. They made huge Thaers (chariots) for temple processions in the first place. Over the time when the demand for it came down; they started making panels in wood.
They then started making exclusive wooden statues of animals, gods and divine episodes. Today it’s a group of 100 families who dedicatedly work on this for generations.
Every statue takes step by step procedures in the hands of 6-7 people for completion. The quality is so good that this craft is GI tagged, and has won around 40 national awards and recognitions.
Here is Chandran and his son, who are one of the families striving to make a difference in this art and craft. They are one of the prominent names who are taking this art to the next level. More power to them.
In a time when native arts are dying, it was inspiring to see them working their heart out to make the art of wood carvings thrive. It was a pleasure to have captured their story.
Felt and shot by: Amar Ramesh, Vivi Raaj, Bala
Music: Ricky Kej