Weaving with Sabai Grass : A lost art - By Kathaakaar

Weaving a story of empowerment for the tribal homes of Mayurbhanj in Orissa is Sabai Grass and its many crafts. Kathaakaar India brings to you the wonderful story of Sabai Indian Handicrafts from Orissa. 

Sabai Grass, also known as The Money Plant due to its property of growing and being ready for harvest anytime in the year has been promoted by governing agencies for its soil binding properties, this could not be more opportune for a community of people searching to find themselves better economic prospects as it also provides a steady flow of income considering that they can practice their craft and sell their wares throughout the year. It allows them to reach within themselves, their traditions and cultures and find a craft and technique commonly used in their little rock and mud homes as items of utility. 

In the complex socio-economic landscape surrounding the areas, the employment of the men and majorly the women as creators of Sabai Craft crafts presents a platform for growth and independence. They bring with them a myriad of technical knowledge and the host of workshops and training sessions that are conducted help them in further building their skills. This also allows them to have frequent interactions with the consumer and build an understanding of contemporary needs. 

The use of Sabai Grass has evolved over time, from being used by paper mills, to the making of Sabai Grass ropes, to cots and foot mats to many objects of decorative and utilitarian purposes in households such as baskets, trays, boxes, vanity bags and coasters. 

The making of these products is truly definitive of the word handicraft since the process is completely manual without the usage of any external energy or any machines. A traditional style of twisting and tying together of the Sabai Grass strands is used and then coiled together in a spiral fashion. A long needle is used to form knots. Jute threads are used in the tying and natural colours are used to dye the grass. As they venture into more public forums and interact with master designers, they adapt newer product variations and include the usage of other materials along with Sabai Grass to enhance its aesthetic appeal. 

At Kathaakaar, the vision is to collaborate with these artisans and create more products that can form a part of our regular usage while continuously promoting the craft that makes up the livelihood of these tribal families in Orissa



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