Friday, July 2, 2010

SHEETALPATI

SHEETALPATI,literally meaning `cool mat`,made of a locally grown reed(Maranta dichotoma) is famous among the mats made in the state.It is produced in the northeastern district of Cooch Behar,Ghughumari, Bangaler Haat(). A society has been established by the community. There are 24,000 weavers families in Coochbihar I & II Block.
The members of the Kayastha caste are mainly involved with this craft.The mats are called so because they impart coolness to the person sitting or sleeping on them.Products like mats,baskets,hand-fans and bags are painted with

1. A sheetalpati floor mat.Dyed strips have been used to create the checked pattern.
2. Detail of the plaiting technique done in twill weave structure.
3. Table mat with an auspicious motif-the coconut placed in betel leaves on a kalash,pot.
4. Table mat with an elephant motif.
thin strips of the reed.Dyed strips are added to create more patterns in the weave.The strips may not be long enough to last through the weave;so new strips are overlapped and woven in a way that does not require joinery.Coloured mats have traditional Bengali motifs.The quality of the sheetalpati mat is judged by its glossiness,smoothess and fineness of texture.Apart from the thriving traditional market,the craft has also found a place for itself in the contemporary urban market.
Kalaboti Mudra went there to record the raftpersonship of the traditional artisans. we have posted some of the photographs in our blog. more and more are coming.
We have located a family of state award winner. Both the wife and husband are engaged in mat making. At least 10 women are engaged in weaving in a temporary basis.
We met Juran Chandra Dey, wife Basana Dey and daughter Mina Dey, unmentioned anywhere. Mina herself introduced a jamdani motiffs in the mat weaving which is a class of its own. Juranbabu show us(the photos) that she has weaved "Convocation of University of North Bengal" three mats ordered by university of north bengal. They use to call it naam lekha pati(a mat where name written). this family do not have any recognition. Even the state award winner do not know the technique of this.
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