Origin: Buried in the beauty and tradition of north-eastern India is a myth that states all human beings land on earth using a ladder!! The material of this ladder can be gold, silver or bamboo. A persons destiny is aligned with the ladder he chooses. This means all those who descended with the help of bamboo ladders came together as a tribe to reside in Tripura.
Some believe that the bamboo bridges over intervening valleys and torrential streams are a testimonial to the truth behind this myth.
Bamboo plays a significant role in the ethos, philosophies, handicraft, climate and social structure of Tripura. Traditionally, bamboo artisans made baskets, pails, rain shields, structural elements, haversacks, accessories and tools.
Bamboo craft items have brought glory to the different tribes inhabiting this region. Each tribe has a signature handicraft style indigenous to them.
Historically, craftsmen played with bamboo to construct houses, fences, gates, wall panels, sieves, storage baskets and agricultural products.
Present Day: Government had adopted a plethora of steps to ensure this age-old craft continues to flourish. The Craft Teachers Institute was established by the State Government. This institute has immensely contributed in the bamboo crafts domain of Tripura. At Agartala, the State Department of Industries operates a Design Extension Centre. The Bamboo and Cane Development Institute was established by the All India Handicrafts Board. This institute is studying the chemical treatment of bamboo while providing advanced training in bamboo work, seasoning, preservation and craft design.
Presently, this craft is concentrated in the sub – divisions of Kailasahar, Dharmanagar, Khowai, Sadar, Sooamura, Belonia and Agartala.
A large percentage of handicraft entrepreneurs are focusing on bamboo screens, lamp stands and table-mats. Even the tribes who initially crafted only household items such as baskets have now started making jewellery.
A wide spectrum of products are made using these products such as furniture, pencil holders, lamp shades, trays, stools, baskets, vases, hand fans, decorations fans, window and door screens, shopping bags, purses, hats, tablemats, mugs, etc.
Procedure: Red dyed cotton yarn and bamboo splits are used to weave bamboo mats. These mats work as window blinds and table runners. A local species of bamboos found only in Tripura is utilized to create fish traps, cattle muzzles, rain shields, sieves and basket.
Certain products are made by interlacing bamboo splits. Fish trap is crafted from a woven mat. To make rain shields dried palm leaves are sandwiched between two layers of bamboo strips, interwoven in hexagonal weave.
Bring Home Bamboo Craft: This entire state is punctuated with shops selling these gorgeous craft items. You should begin by stopping at Kailasahar, Dharmanagar, Khowai, Sadar, Sooamura, Belonia and Agartala.