Collecting Golu Dolls

My mom and my dad’s sisters collect Christmas figurines.  Manger scene figures to create Christmas scenes in December. It can be nice for adult sisters and sister-in-laws to have collectibles that make for easy gifts. Relatives who aren’t too sure what you might want, know they can always get you a new figure for your tableaux.

The figurines expand well beyond the traditional baby in a manger with parents and some angels and wise men. There are whole houses and villagers and farmers and animals. You can collect these for years.

Not being Christian, I’ve never had any interest in having these things.

But I realized this year that the Navratri Golu doll scenes are a similar opportunity to collect and gather beautiful and meaningful figurines. 

I can see myself getting a new one once a year for my birthday, for example. And slowly building a collection. I can see carefully storing them away during the year and then unpacking and displaying them with delight when Navratri comes. It’s a tradition that I could share with my future children (telling the stories of each figure as we put it in place) and a way to remake our home with a festive feel for the season.

So yes. I am going to start a Golu collection.

I already have a bobble-head Krishna that I think will be a perfect start (a gift from my friend, Abhi. Hi, Abhi!). Each year, a family selects a theme and puts the star of the scene at the top of the shelves (3, 5, 7, or 9 shelves). The rest are filled in with a descending order of divinity. Many people do say to start with marappacchi, a male and female figure (sometimes naked) and these are passed down generation to generation or gifted to daughters at their weddings to begin their own golu. So that should be the first thing I collect.

Here are some inspiration images of available dolls out there…

Baby shower set! I should get this, might be good luck :)

A dancer like me

“There’s a lesson to learn from each doll. For one, they listen patiently.”

Learn more about Golu:

Search the Internet for “Golu” and you will see tons of inspirational images of people’s home set-ups! I love how in this one there is an entire village scene at the bottom of the steps:

Now I just have to figure out where the best location in our home is for this display.

Today at the subscription blog: verses 12-18 of the Bhagavad Gita

About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

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