Bet you didn't know that Snakes and Ladders (sap sidi) originated in India perhaps as long ago as the 2nd century BC. Earlier called Moksha-Patamu (heaven & hell) it was presumably used to teach children decent behaviour. Cloth versions of games have been stitched since the Mogul era. These were often included in a girl's dowry, embellished as opulently as the family could afford. This game is hand made by artisans who migrated from Sindh to the Kutch desert region. Produced by Kala Raksha the board is a mini quilt of vegetable dyed fabric stitched by women whose eyesight is no longer strong enough for fine geometric embroidery. The counters of this game are hand made by a traditional leather worker, who also migrated from Sindh. Decorative punching was originally used to embellish the sturdy shoes worn by farmers and herders of the region.
Kala Raksha were awarded "Best Game" for this product in 2004 by the Craft Council of India. Note: that there are some colour variations between games.