The Bamboo thickets are ordinary sight in the state of Chhattisgarh & the local tribes have been putting their craftsmanship to work to create great utility eco-friendly items.
Craftsmanship of Chhattisgarh’s tribal group can be seen from multifarious articles of craft they produce using bamboo bamboo. Articles for decorative as well as utility purpose.
Bamboo grows in abundance across districts in Chhattisgarh. It has been an ineluctable part of this region’s life style, used for making fishing nets, in building homes, baskets, Kanwad (load carrying poles), musical instruments and for food.
Bamboo forms the basis of livelihood for the Basor community who make a living crafting objects made with bamboo.
Baskets and other utilities crafted by them are bartered in exchange for grain as part of ‘Gotia’ client-patronage relationships with farmers.
Beyond these specialised commodities, making objects with bamboo is a widespread skill in this region.
In recent years Government policies have, in a way acknowledged the central role of bamboo in the lives of Chhattisgarhi people, initiating programs for the cultivation of bamboo as a cash crop.
The bamboo craft of Chhattisgarh has become very popular and a major draw at the prestigious India International Trade Fair (IITF) in New Delhi these days.
The attractive purse, file covers, bags, wall hangings, baskets and pen-stand displayed in the stalls of the fair attracts domestic as well as foreign visitors and buyers in a big way.
The purse prepared from bamboo by the tribes is purchased by a large number of girl students.
Most of the bamboo purse brought to the Trade Fair get sold like hot cakes. The Trade Fair not only gives good income to the tribals for their products but also gives them an opportunity to improve their product.
The bamboo craft is a unique representation of the centuries old tradition of tribal Chhattisgarh women. The bamboo craft is a tough work right from collection of bamboo to transforming it into beautiful artwork.
The cleaning of raw bamboo is a real challenge for the basket weavers as bamboo contains hidden worms. To remove the worms, the bamboo is heated briskly.
Giving attractive shape to the bamboo is a long process and needs skill. The outer layer of the bamboo is peeled off and even the thin layer removed is used for preparation of different types of items and products.
This apart, the State Government of Chatthisgarh has provided a platform to the craftsmen to showcase their talent. The women entrepreneurs are being promoted through bamboo craft.
The bamboo mission was started in Bastar in 2006-07 and bamboo farming was promoted through this. The tribals were provided better employment opportunities through their traditional craftsmanship.
The artisans of Chhattisgarh’s famed bamboo craft items are now being made to participate in Dilli Haat and the prestigious India International Trade Fair held in the National Capital for better marketing and sale of their products.
Through the Bamboo Craft Project, talented artisans of the area have received self-employment after being imparted proper training and other necessary assistance to them.
Housing arrangements have also been made available to these artisans through Indira Awas Yojana. Bamboo and other materials have been provided to them at local level in Bastar region of the State.
For the marketing of the crafts items, these artisans were being sent to the exhibitions, Delhi Haat, Trade Fair etc organised in big cities of the country, besides making proper efforts through Rajyotsav, Bastar lokotsav and Chhattisgarh Haat at local level.
Senior basket weavers of Narayanpur Bamboo Craft Project have brought fame to the district by organising exhibitions of their craftworks abroad also.