Celebrating mass-produced, frugal, aesthetic design from india

Snakes and Ladders


Snakes and Ladders or popularly known as the saap seedi game has been a game passed from generations to generations . It not only has the ethereal quality to it which makes it relvant for all generations but stored a high moral designed values teaching capabilities too. Rules are simple ,you climb to your way to success if a ladder (read opportunity ) comes your way and you slide down if you encounter snakes (read failures ) in your way.

Lesson learnt : you can walk your path as life offers you but no one can escape the hands of fate.

The game consists of simply designed grids with a random layout of all the snakes and ladders . Straigtforwards rules are whoever reaches the number 100 and then home from number 1 grid first,wins !

Countless hours have been spent playing this game by both Indian adults and children alike. For many years  ,both snakes and ladders and ludo (another Indian indoor game ) offered countless opportunites for families and relatives to bond especially during travel , pre -TV and early TV days .

The simple low-cost and durable design of the same speaks of the durability it offered vis -a -vis the rugged treatment that was meted out to it . A single fold fibre board with a print on both sides of size varying form  6 X 6 inches to 10 X 10 inches was accompanied with 4-6 coloured pieces called gotees and 2 dices made of cheap plastic .This ranged from the price of 5 to 15 rupees. Suprisingly, the game was available not only in small mom and pop stores but even with railway vendors .
Later years , saw its better quality versions being marketed by toy and games companies printed on high quality coated paper packed in a good cardboard case .The game has been manufactured in various materials from a paper-mache ethnic version to wood to metal .
It was so popular that one time one of India’s top channels came up with a TV show with the same name and a human size board .
Interestingly the game has its roots in ancient India and was used to teach moral values. More can be read about the game at wikipedia page .

Courtesy:Google Images

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