One of the oldest crafts of India, the handicrafts of bamboo are well known to man. Various regions in India universally practice this craft form. The wide-ranged availability of bamboo led the Indian artisans to provide intricately designed utility products. The bamboo handicraft has helped many individuals to secure a job for themselves. The products range from boxes, chairs, teapots, baskets, and more. 

The bamboo or cane is locally known as sundi, barjali, harua, golla, and more. 

Three main species of commercially exploited cane/ bamboo are available – Jati (Calamus tenuis), Tita (Calamus leptesadix), and Lejai (Calamus floribundus). The other less significant qualities like Sundi (Calamus garuba) and Raidang (Calamus flagellum), extract detailed design. 

Spread across India, this craft of Bamboo handicraft in each state has adopted a unique technique to bring this skill to life. 

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Bamboo Handicrafts_©canecraftandalliedindustries.blogspot.in

Bamboo and Cane crafts of Manipur

The bamboo and cane crafts of Manipur include a wide range of traditional to modern creations. The raw materials required for the bamboo industry in this state are grown in the forests of Churachandpur, Jiribam, Tamenglong, and Imphal districts.  Some bamboo and cane items discovered in Manipur are sofa sets, Murhas, mats, basketry, tray, chair, table, flower vases, ashtrays, and more. 

Beautifully woven and crafted of bamboo and cane are the screen of Manipur that includes the beautiful room dividers, stage, and mandap backdrops. 

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Manipur Bamboo Handicrafts_©camelcraft.com

Manipur is famously known for its baskets created by the tribal people of the area. These baskets use dyed bamboo to create intricate imprints. The basketry of Manipur includes a unique feature, including an exquisitely crafted bamboo fish trap.   

There are a variety of baskets found in Manipur, including, Chengbon (a square body of checks and squares in black and white and rest on four prominent legs that can store clothes), Measuring baskets, and Miruk, Filtering Baskets, Container Baskets, Conical Baskets, and more. 

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Chengbon_©webindia123.com

The container baskets, also known as Rashakok, are finely woven in an open weave style.  The other specialties of Manipur include reed mats and cushions. These woven cushions are known as ‘Kounaphak’ locally. These mats are in demand outside Manipur too. 

The womenfolk use a bamboo split-weaved, bowl-shaped fishing basket known as Long to catch fish.

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Long_©researchgate.net

Apart from Utilitarian objects, artisans also create headgears, jewelry, musical instruments, bamboo umbrellas, totems, bows, arrows, furniture, and more. 

Bamboo and Cane crafts of Tripura

Bamboo and Cane Crafts of Tripura signify an icon for its refined handicrafts with beautiful weaving and lovely designs. The unique styles practiced by different tribes and communities belong to the locality. 

The bamboo handicrafts spread all over Tripura with concentrations in subdivisions of Kailashahar, Dharmanagar, Khowai, Sadar, Sooamura, and Belonia.                                     

In Tripura, many items use bamboo and cane to make items like furniture, pencil holders, lamp shades, trays, stools, baskets, vases, hand fans, decoration fans, window screens, door screens, shopping bags, purses, hats, tablemats, mugs, and many other articles. 

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Tripura Bamboo Handicrafts_©incredibleindia.org

The people of Tripura are skilled in making premier crafts out of bamboo and cane, as different states master different craft forms. Western Tripura is known for its vegetable baskets (Kula and dala). These items last for a long time. 

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Kula_©medium.com

The weaving technique of the Tripura artisans makes the crafts tuff and assertive. The skilled artisans give evenness to bamboo by splitting them vertically into uniform strips and then cut to the preferred length using simple tools.

The bamboo and cane crafts of Tripura are famous for their creative skills of elegant baskets, small-framed mirrors, hair clips, powder cases, decorative trays, and decorations. 

‘Dulla’ is the commonly used fish basket, and ‘Pathee’ is a rain shield. Small woven animals, ‘moorahs,’ a low stool made of bamboo, cane ornaments, mats, bags, fruit baskets, basketry, vases, and many other items are bamboo crafted. 

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Dulla_©tripura.gov.in

The Tripura State Government has established The Craft Teacher’s Institute (CTTI). This institute has done commendable work in the field of bamboo handicrafts.    

Bamboo matting is a flourishing industry in Tripura. By converting bamboo matting to an array of products, including fans, lampshades, handbags, and various other decorative items. 

The most uncomplicated item made of bamboo matting is a wall hanging with a picture painted in oil colors. Another decorative product made from waste strips of matting is flower sticks.

Bamboo and Cane crafts of Southern India

Bamboo and Cane Crafts of Southern India are very common due to the abundant cultivation of bamboo plantations in this portion of India. 

The South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala possess skilled artisans capable of crafting various bamboo products. The bamboo products include regular utility household items. 

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Bamboo Handicrafts of Southern India_©dsource.in

Bamboo and Cane crafts of Tamil Nadu 

The bamboo crafts of Tamil Nadu primarily have a variety of household items, home decor items, and other purposes. The artisans use the fibers of cane or rattan and Tamil reed bamboo. Tamil Nadu is a state where the raw material is in abundance in addition to the artisans, an added advantage. 

The major products made from bamboo include baskets, dolls, toys, mats, trays, flower baskets, shopping bags, folding fans, and more. Another popular item in Tamil Nadu comprises window screens made of bamboo slats tied with strings, plain or colored. These bamboo window screens are known as ‘chiks’ by the locals. 

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Bamboo Lampshade_©pinterest.com

Mat weaving is also a distinct art form of bamboo and cane crafts in Tamil Nadu. Apart from these, the artisans create fodder containers, fish baskets, trinket boxes, modhas (tools), and grain-threshing trays for regular usage. 

The main bamboo and cane centers are in Dharmapuri, Salem, Coimbatore, South Arcot, and Tiruchirapalli districts of Tamil Nadu. Other centers that manufacture bamboo and cane items include Thanjavur and Arcot. 

Bamboo and Cane crafts of Andhra Pradesh 

In Andhra Pradesh, the districts of Khammam, West Godavari, Kurnool, Mahbubnagar, East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, and Adilabad are the primary centers of bamboo production. The vast stretches of forests in the Prakasham, Srikakulam, Chittoor, and Warangal boast rich growth of bamboo plantations. 

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Bamboo Handicrafts of AP_©lepakshihandicrafts.gov.in

Bamboo and Cane crafts of Karnataka

Bamboo products of Karnataka include coasters, wall hangings, mats, lamp shades, and baskets.  The artisans carefully pick the best type of bamboo to manufacture bamboo artifacts. Plaiting and coiling are the techniques adopted by the skilled laborers of Karnataka.  

Bamboo Handicrafts of Karnataka_©dsource.in

These are just a few states that produce quality bamboo products for the country. Other than the mentioned states, Nagaland is also rich in this craft with bamboo utilities, weapons, headgears, baskets, and more.

References: 

  1. Bamboo & Cane Crafts of India – the Cultural Heritage of India

https://cultureandheritage.org/2022/06/bamboo-cane-crafts-of-india.html

  1. “Handicraft of India.” Www.handicrafts.nic.in

http://www.handicrafts.nic.in/themecrafts/NaturalFiberEFC.aspx#:~:text=The%20Handicrafts%20of%20Bamboo%20is,to%20provide%20beautiful%20utility%20articles.

  1. IndiaNetzone. “Bamboo Crafts in India.” Indian Encyclopedia, 25 May 2017, 

https://indianetzone.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/bamboo-crafts-in-india/

  1. “Traditional Indian Arts & Crafts – Common Bamboo & Cane Products in India.” 

https://www.contentwriter.in/industry-resources/indian-arts-crafts/bamboo-cane-india.htm

Author

Sanvitti Shetty, an aspirant in the architecture field, has a keen interest in reading, writing, and researching. She is strongly opinionated and headstrong with her beliefs. She believes words can bring about a revolution in the field of architecture.

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