Thanjavur Bommai – Tanjore bobbleheads

Talking about Indian pottery…

Thanjavur Dolls of India: These bobblehead dolls are of a class known as “Thanjavur Thalayatti Bommai” in the Tamil language, meaning “Tanjore Head-Shaking Doll”. Traditionally these toys are handmade and their exteriors are painted to an intrinsic sense of humour. Nowadays, they are also being made in plastics. If you visit Tanjore, these are the best souvenirs.

They are a native art form in the Thanjavur region of Tamil Nadu state in South India. These dolls are usually 6″ to 12″ tall (15 to 30 cm). They are made of clay or wood and painted over in bright colors. They are often dressed up in fancy clothes. They form a part of an elaborate display of dolls known as “Golu (kolu)”, exhibited in Indian houses during the “Dasara (Navaratri)” festival in Sep-Oct. Another type of Thanjavur Doll is the Tanjore Roundpot Rocking Doll (in Tamil, “Thanjavur Gundusatti Bommai”). This doll was kept near a window and it was a treat to watch her gently dance with the breeze whenever the window was open.

Keep shaking those hips 🙂




  1. Thanks for your comments, they were one of my favourite dolls too. I even loved the Russian ones, that used to fit one small into the next size. Think they are called Baboshka.

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