The Temple City of Tanjavur and the capital of the Chola dynasty is as much known for its ‘Thalai Aati Bommai’. Translated, this colloquial Tamil term means the ‘Nodding Dolls’.
Produced by the by the indigenous craftsmen of Tanjavur, this craft has become synonymous with the place, earning itself legal accreditation at the G.I Registry
The GI-registered dolls, which are believed to have come to Tanjavur during King Sarafoji’s regime in the early 19th century, are unique as they remain vertical and upright always, thanks to a clay tablet placed inside the round curved pedestal.
From now on, the term dancing doll of Tanjavur’ would refer only to the authentic Raja-Rani’ pair, which stand on a curved pedestal.
Putting the Tanjavur dolls under GI protection is no mean achievement as it is common for the entire world. Just like trademarks, the GI mark too are source-identifiers. Besides ensuring monopoly for the association or group the Tanjavur Chamber of Commerce in this case the GI mark shields a product from bogus claims and poor quality. (TOI)
In the context of craft based G.Is there has been rather ticklish issue that has come up for consideration in the recent past.
Migration of labor is commonplace amongst the craft community, where the craftsmen relocates to a place outside of the designated G.I territory but still continues to practice his indigenous craft.Would he then still be entitled to produce and market his goods as a registered G.I user?In a recent dialogue on this issue at a symposium on G.Is, I came across this interesting comment ‘You can move the artisan out but not the art out of the place’ Can this be used as a guiding principle in formulating a position on this. Inconclusive, and thoughts to throw light on this issue are welcome.