Sikki grass handicrafts are a popular form of handicrafts made in the state of Bihar, India. These handicrafts are made using sikki grass, a type of grass that grows in the wetlands of Bihar.
Sikki grass handicrafts are mainly produced in the areas of Madhubani, Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, and Samastipur districts in Bihar. The craft is usually practiced by women in these areas, and is passed down from generation to generation.
The process of making sikki grass handicrafts involves collecting the sikki grass, drying it, splitting it into fine strands, and then weaving it into various shapes and sizes. The weavers use their fingers to weave the strands, and the finished products are usually decorated with colorful threads, beads, and mirrors.
Some of the popular products made using sikki grass include baskets, trays, coasters, and other home decor items. The intricate weaving and decorative details make these handicrafts highly sought after, both in India and abroad.
Sikki grass handicrafts have been recognized as a Geographical Indication (GI) product by the Government of India, which helps to protect and promote the craft and its artisans. The craft not only provides a source of livelihood to the artisans, but also preserves the traditional knowledge and skills of the region.
- History: The art of making Sikki grass handicrafts dates back to ancient times, and it is believed to have been practiced for over 400 years. The craft was initially used to make household items such as baskets and mats for daily use, but it has now evolved to include a variety of decorative and utility items.
- Material: Sikki grass, also known as golden grass or Madar grass, is the primary material used for making these handicrafts. The grass is harvested from the wetlands of Bihar during the monsoon season, and it is dried in the sun before it can be used. The grass is then split into fine strands using a special tool called ‘sikki jali’.
- Process: The process of making Sikki grass handicrafts is entirely manual, and it involves weaving the strands of grass together using the fingers. The artisans use a variety of weaving techniques to create different shapes and designs, and they often add decorative elements such as beads, mirrors, and colorful threads to enhance the beauty of the finished product.
- Products: Sikki grass handicrafts are used for a variety of purposes, including home decor, storage, and gifting. Some of the popular products include baskets, trays, coasters, boxes, pen stands, wall hangings, and table mats. The products are known for their durability, light weight, and eco-friendliness.
- Importance: Sikki grass handicrafts are an important source of livelihood for many artisans in Bihar, particularly women. The craft has been recognized as a GI product, which provides legal protection and helps to promote and preserve the traditional knowledge and skills of the region. The craft also has cultural significance, as it represents the rich heritage and artistry of Bihar.