(Last Updated on : 03/07/2013)
The bamboo and cane craft of Jammu and Kashmir is deeply rooted in local folk traditions. Due to its great tensile strength and relative cheapness bamboo is used extensively in all the regions of India. The people of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the artisans have been following the tradition of great Nawabs and rulers while crafting attractive utility items out of bamboo and cane.
The bamboo and cane crafts of Jammu and Kashmir range from bamboo splint baskets of various shapes and sizes, bamboo trays, and boxes of different sizes, fruit and vegetable bowls, ladies' bags, and table lamps and other utility items and decorative items as well. The present generation of bamboo artisans is focusing increasingly on the dictates of modern life and urban markets. The famous item made of bamboo is basket that is perhaps one of the oldest items and it is still in demand on a large scale. The artisans create an umpteen number of baskets in great varieties.
With the ample availability of raw material, the bamboo and cane crafts of Jammu and Kashmir offer a huge variety in the structures and shapes of baskets that ranges from circular, spherical or cylindrical artifacts of caskets and containers. The most commonly known form of basketry is Snake-charmers' baskets that are designed with different hues. This particular type of basket serves the purpose of storing vegetables or carrying loads for storing trinkets, clothes unspun-cotton etc. Whereas the primary use of basketry still continues, the changing patterns of the societies and more ingenious basket-makers have invented several other uses for their products. Moreover, the artisans of Jammu and Kashmir are deft in creating items like hand-fans, soft prayer-mats for the mosques and chick for doors. Even the craftsmen create items like 'tokras', 'tokris', 'oval shaped containers with lids' and 'chhikus' etc that are popular among the inhabitants. Another popular item of Kashmir is 'Kangri' which is the handmade warming equipment, made with an earthen bowl wrapped in a net of bamboo slips.
The local folk of Jammu and Kashmir are the conveyors of the folk tradition of bamboo and cane crafts of Jammu and Kashmir throughout India. The support of the government will help to grow this unique craft of Jammu and Kashmir and promote the market demand in India. This initiative of government will help the state to acquire international market as well.