Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Fishing with bamboo products in Assamese society

There are various kinds of fishing contraptions prepared out of cane and bamboo in different parts of the state. A brief description of some of the fishing implements widely used like polo, Jakai, Khalai, Dori, Chepa, Paran, Jhuti, Hogra, etc. is given below:

Polo- It resembles the shape of a dome with short stem of about 6" diameter open at the top. The diameter at the bottom varies from 2 ft-3½ ft. and even upto 4 ft. and the height varies from 2 ft. to 3 ft. It is prepared out of small bamboo strips fastened with fine and flexible cane slips. Polo is used for fishing in shallow water. The man who uses it hold it by the side of the stem, presses its rim on the mud, then pulls it back and lifts above or up to the level of water and again presses it as before while moving on through water. Whenever any fish is caught, he puts his hand inside through the stem to catch hold of the fish; julki is a small polo prepared in the same fashion.

Jakai- The ‘jakai’ is a species of wicker work shovel that is either dragged along the bottom or placed on the water bed to catch the small fishes which take refuge in it when the weed is trampled. It is prepared with bamboo slips, which are locally known as ‘dai’. ‘Jati’ bamboo is specially used for making this particular implement.

Khalai - The ‘khalai’ is also prepared with bamboo strips. The strips required for the weft are very long, while those for the warp are short. The ‘khalai’ is woven in the shape of an earthen ‘kalasi’ or pitcher. This is used for temporary keeping of fishes during hand-net fishing.

Chepa- The Chepa is made of some prepared bamboo rods according to required size. These are woven in a roundish fashion with jute string or soft cane slips. A bamboo-made valve locally known as ‘par’ (Bengali) and ‘kal’ (Assamese) is fitted in the middle of the chepa to allow the fishes to enter inside with no scope for going out.

Dori- Fishermen in the rural areas of the state manufacture dories of various types. A ‘dori’ is generally rectangular. It is prepared out of small bamboo strips woven with flexible cane slips. A trap is fitted with a ‘dori’ in such a way that a bamboo-made screen is prolonged inwards from either side of the oval mouth and the pointed splints of the two sides interlock together.

Parans- These are various cages or basket traps made of bamboo splits used for catching fishes. There are two kinds of ‘parans’, namely (i) ‘uba paran’ (vertical cage) and (ii) ‘pora paran’ (horizontal cage). These are provided with one or two valves or trap doors through which fishes can be easily trapped.

All these implements mentioned above are generally used in catching fishes in shallow water. Apart from these contrivances, there are some other implements made of bamboo and cane and are used for catching fishes in deep waters. These are locally known as gui, jhuti, dingaru, thupa, hogra, etc.   

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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

History of Bamboo and Cane Culture in Assam

Assam is rich in sylvan resources and most of its forests are richly stocked with bamboos and canes of various species. Bamboo is a raw material of great versatility and forms an integral part of the lifestyle and economy of Assam. Special mention may however be made of the forests of Mizo Hills, Cachar, Mikir and North Cachar Hills, Nowgong and Lakhimpur districts. While touring in the hill districts, one sometimes wonders at the vast expanses of bamboos and canes. The important species of bamboos of economic value are the Muli (Melocanna bambusoides), Dalu (Teinostachyum dalloa), Khang (Dendrocalmus longispatnus), Kaligoda (Oxytenanthera nigrociliata) and Pecha (Dendrocalamus Hamilton-ii). The Muli and the Dalu have great commercial importance, the former for pulping, constructional and fencing purposes, and the latter for the mat and basket industry.

The making of bamboo and cane products is perhaps the most universal of all the crafts practiced by a large number of artisans scattered throughout the State. It is practiced as a household industry and no mechanical device is used. Cane and bamboo products are used for a wide range of purposes and extensively used in every household.

This industry has carved for itself an important place among the handicrafts of the State. It provides part time employment to the cultivators in their spare time, and full time employment to the few highly skilled artisans who produce only fine decorative baskets, furniture and mats on a commercial basis.

History and Origin

No definite records are available to establish the antiquity, history and origin of this craft in Assam. However, it can be safely assumed that the craft was practiced since the misty past with the very dawn of civilization. In the early period in Assam, bamboo was held with special reference and is forbidden to cut in “auspicious days”. It is a general belief that bamboo possesses auspicious character and is of religious significance.

An idea about the flourishing state of cane and bamboo products of Assam was fond even during the time of Bhaskara Varman (early part of the 7th century A.D.), the king of Assam, may be had from the following extract. (An extract from “The History of Civilization of the People of Assam” by Dr P.C. Chouudhury.)

“Early literature refers to the well-decorated and coloured sital patis (cool mats) used by the rich people. Mats were usually made of cane. The classical writers testify the abundance of cane in the forests of Assam. Ptolemy, for instance, states that to the east of Serica, which we have identified with Assam, there were hills and marshes where canes were grown and used as bridges. Evidence of the production of other cane articles is also supplied by the ‘Harshacharita’, which mentions stools of cane. The cultivation of bamboo and its use for various purposes are well known. Bana again testifies to this highly developed craft. He states that Bhaskara sent to Harsha ‘baskets of variously coloured reeds’, ‘thick bamboo tubes’ and various birds in ‘bamboo cages’. All these prove that various industrial arts were developed in Assam at an early period and were continued to be practiced till recent times, based on that traditions like those of the craftsmen of other parts of India…”

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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Advantages of Cane Furniture And Its Maintenance Tips

Cane furniture which is also known as Rattan furniture or wicker furniture is basically made of the stems of the rattan plant. Cane is the raw material of the rattan plant and it is tensile and durable. It is therefore considered to be ideal for both indoor and outdoor furniture. As it is quite versatile, it can be designed according to modern trends and styles to enhance both indoor and outdoor decor.

Benefits of Cane Furniture:
There are many reasons why most people prefer to own cane or rattan furniture. Some of the most obvious reasons are mentioned below:

Cost effective: Compared to other types of wooden and metal furniture, it is priced at lower rates. As it is cost effective, most people choose it to decorate their homes and patios. It can also be replaced and altered often as it is priced at reasonable rates.

Resistant to the vagaries of the weather: It is mostly used in garden and patios as outdoor cane furniture as it has the immense ability to resist all types of climatic changes. It is seldom affected by climatic changes although it should be placed away from direct heat and sunlight as it might become brittle. It is also water-resistant and rustproof.

Versatile: Rattan furniture can be shaped and designed into different types of furniture. It has the power to transform the decor of a home or office space with its incomparable versatility. It can be used to make different types of furniture that can be placed in any part of the room or garden.
Light Weight: One of the greatest advantages of the rattan furniture is its light weight. It can be carried around from one place to another quite easily as it is light in weight and available in different attractive varieties.

Low maintenance: Unlike other wooden furniture which requires frequent polishing and maintenance, wicker or rattan furniture requires low maintenance. All that it requires is an occasional polishing to retain its charm and elegance.

Eco-friendly: Most people prefer to buy wicker furniture as it is environment friendly. It includes the use of natural materials which is derived from the stem of the large rattans. It is a climber palm which is found in tropical regions of Asia and Africa.

Maintenance Tips:
Although cane furniture is long lasting and tensile, proper care and maintenance can ensure a longer life period for these type of furniture. It is quite easy to care for wicker furniture as it includes simple cane weeds that are wrapped around solid furniture.

Avoid direct heat and sunlight: Excessive heat and immense sunlight can cause the cane to become brittle. If the furniture is indoor, place it away from heating vents and fire places and if it is placed in the patio move it away from direct sunlight.

Warm soapy water: It is wise to clean wicker furniture with warm soapy water and rinse it with water. Wipe away excessive water with a soft cloth. Keep it to dry for 24 hours before using it again. Use a soft brush to remove excessive dirt or mold.

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Monday, 3 August 2015

Cane and bamboo Lampshades for a beautiful looking home!

You can add glamour to your home and yet keep it simple by choosing to decorate it up with cane and bamboo made products. The bamboo made lampshades available in the market in a variety of designs, types, sizes and looks, are amazing options to get for your home and make it look stylish without spending much of your hard earned money. It is true that in certain cases a bamboo made lampshade may cost you more than that of a plastic or other material made lampshade, but then the quality of the thing and the labour put behind the making of the thing needs to be counted in that case.

The beauty of the bamboo made things, especially of the lampshades is unmatchable and one can realize it the moment the bamboo made lampshades are witnessed in person. It has been noticed that the lampshades made of bamboo are quite a common sight in the aristocratic families who believes in adding an authenticity, ethnicity and shine to their home in the simplest yet perfect way possible. They look ethnic. But adds the very glamour to the household that leaves one with ample reasons for getting the beautiful cane made lampshades for the living room, for the veranda, the study room and also for the bedroom.

As the making of a bamboo lampshade takes some time, a skilled hand and some labour, the costs of these lampshades are generally pricey and that varies basing on the size and the complexity of designs found in these. Other than that, a bamboo lampshade is as good, durable and easy to clean as that of a lampshade made of other materials like that of fabric, plastic or other transparent materials. 

Keywords: Cane furniture, Buy furniture online, Eco friendly bags, Cane & handicraft, Cane furniture’s in Guwahati

Visit our website: http://www.canecraftassam.com/