Masland Mat

Masland Mat

Masland or Matranchi is a type of Madur or Korai mat. It is the highest form of korai mat in terms of quality, making, and design. This super artistic work has been developed in the Nawab periods in Bengal, especially in Medinipur. The Masland mat is the perfect gesture of artistic work in the field of handmade floor mats.

The process and woven of this type of mats are quite different in contrast to the woven of other types of mat. At first, the korai reeds or madurkathi need to process. After the cutting from the field, damaged reeds have been separated. The good reeds cut and dry on sunlight. After full dry, the reeds need to sink in water for 2-3days. Thereafter again all those need to dry in direct sunlight.  Lastly, artisans again cut the reeds by 1/5 times thin than that of the reeds use for the other type of mats. It needs special type of artistic skill. Generally, silk yearn are used in weft.

The mat named ‘Masland’ because of the thinness as like ‘Masland Saree’. Though the mat is so thin and light in weight, still the quality has not compromised. Rather, it’s quality and durability is much more than that of normal mats.

The woven of the ‘Masland’ mat is very time consuming and labor oriented work. Almost, 2 weeks to 8 weeks need for woven one ‘Masland’ mat for two artisans, depending on the design and finest of the reeds. Similarly, the price also varies from Rs.1500/- to Rs.40,000/-.

Though the price of this type of mat is very high than that of the normal mat. Still, no one can compensate the artisans for their artistic gesture while making of the mats.

This mat has very esthetic value in our social life. It has wide use in marriage and other important ceremonies in India. Artisans also use to wave bride, bride-grooms and other person’s names and symbol, motifs on the mats, if they are given special orders.

The artisans who wave this type of mats are mainly women from the household. Generation to generation the skill passes. Above all, no one can feel the value of this mat, without touching or having one.

Primitive Dockra

Primitive Dockra

DOKRA(Also known as Dhokra) is the artistic crafts of metal, basically bras, alloy of copper and bronze. This sort of artistic works has been used in India for over 4000 years and so on.  The great ‘Dancing Girl’ of Mohenjo- daro  civilization is the  earliest known of such artistic work. These works are in great demand for their primitive simplicity, enchanting flok motifs and forceful form. Dokra horses, elephants, peacocks, owls, religious images, measuring bowls and lamp caskets, etc. are highly appreciated. The districts of Bankura, Birbhum(Specially Santiniketan) in the State of West Bengal, State of  Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa are famous for such artistic works.

Handicrafts of Bengal

Handicrafts of Bengal

The State of West Bengal is known for its great heritage of Artistic works and handicrafts.  Generally, the technique to make handicrafts items has been confined in the family or in a particular community and it passes from generation to generation. especially women of the household have been engaged in making of various handicrafts for extra income for the family. In the early age, people used to interchange their handmade items for necessity.  But in a change of era handmade items has been used not only for house hold purposes, but also for home decorations. Now in resent time Bengal handicrafts has its worldwide market for their richness in art and crafts, genuinely and price.

Though there are plenty of handmade items available in Bengal, following are primary crafts for which Bengal is known.

Korai Mat: Making of Korai pai mat is the cottage industry in the State of West Bengal. In local Bengali language it is known as Madur.  This cottage handicraft industry has been developed in both the district of Medinipur and Dakshin Dinajpur.

Korai pai or Madur kathi is a plant and scientifically under the Cyperaceae family. Traditional floor mat, Designer folding mat, Masland mat, Various types of bags and wallet, wall hangers for home decorations etc. are made from korai pai and prefect gestures of artistic works.

Dockra: Dokra  is the metal craft, made from generally brass. This type of craft has been in use from very primitive age. The ‘dancing girl’ of Mohenjo- daro  civilization is the perfect example of this craft. In the District of Bankura, Birbhum, Burdwan and Purulia are famous for this Bengal Dockra.  Primitive simplicity has given this artistic craft worldwide recognition.

Terracotta: Terracotta is a type of sculpture made from refine soil. West Bengal is very famous for terracotta crafts and ornaments. In the district of Bankura, Purulia, Malda and Kolkata are recognised for this craft.

Cane and bamboo: Various types of furniture, mats, lamp shades, trays, baskets are weaved from cane and bamboo. Specially the Coochbehar and Bankura districts are the famous for this craft.

Patahitra or Scroll Printing: Scroll printing or commonly known as Patachitra stands on special foot among the all other artistic work in the State of West Bengal. It is, generally women artisans use to draw incidents of daily life, religious matters and epic stories on a heavy fabric by natural colour. Specially, in the district of Paschim Medinipur and Kolkata, this form of art has been practised by the artisans.

Solapith:  Solapith is a type of craft made from sola or Indian Cork, a spongy plant grown in the water. The white-milky wood of this cork has been Mainly  Though headgear of Hindu bride and bride grooms, ornaments of Hindu Gods have been primarily made from this item, but at present Solapith has been used for making decorative items. This kind of product often called ‘ herbal ivory’. Mainly, in the districts of Murshidaabad, Malda, Birbhum are famous for this craft.

Craft of Conch shell:  It is one of the most beautiful craft available in Bengal. Idols, ornaments and other home decorative beautiful crafts has been made from conch shell, which is a  natural conch find in the ocean.  In Hindu Mythology, crafts made from conch shell have very aesthetic value. Purba Medinipur is famous for this type of craft.

Kantha: It is one type of embroidery, made on cloth by running stitching of beautiful motifs. Birbhum, Murshidabad, Bardwan are the main places where this artistic craft has been practising.

West Bengal is believed to be the motherland of handicraft artistic works in India and in every corner of the State is establishing of this fact. Bengal Handicrafts now has got the world wide recognition. So, handicrafts are not only has the artistic value but also the monetary value as well.

Traditional Korai Grass Floor Mat

Traditional Korai Grass Floor Mat

In India, Traditional floor mat, we suppose to mean as korai grass made floor mat, which is commonly known as Madur in West Bengal. Korai grass or madur is a plant and scientifically under the Cyperaceae family. Pattamadai pai from Tamilnadu is also from the same scientific family.  

This plant have been cultivate mainly in the district of Paschim Medinipur and Purba Medinipur, in the State of West Bengal.  Almost there are 5000 weavers who weave this type of mat in the both districts. Among them 90% are women.

This Korai grass or river grass grow up to 3-4 fit in height. After cutting from the field, the artisans use to cut in pieces of every korai stick or Madur kathi. Thereafter the cutting pieces has been dried on direct sunlight to get the appropriate dimension for weaving mats.

Traditionally the mat has been woven on a simple wooden frame- loom. The wrap is jute thread and weft is the thin, soft and processed those dried ‘korai-reeds’. In West Bengal the edge of this type of mat has been locked by the reeds itself which is different from Pattamadai mat, where the edge has been stitched by fabrics.

 Generally, the mat weaves in 26inch to 60inch in width and in length 65inch to 72inch. Especially Women, after finishing their daily household works, use to weave the mat. It takes 3-4days to weave one mat. After weaving the mats, those has been sold out in local Hat or mandi.

This traditional floor mat from korai grass or river grass is bad conductor of heat, therefore this type of mat is very useful in the humid climate like in India. People can use for sleeping, sitting or even yoga practice. As there is no use of any chemical, no nasty smell comes. This type of mat has very aesthetic value in our social life. It has wide use in marriage and other important ceremonies in India.

It is one of the important cottage industry in India. Village economy and women empowerment, especially in both the districts of Medinipur in the State of West Bengal depends almost on this mat weaving.