Mat weaving is one of the earliest known craft known and practiced by man. This craft is immensely popular in India and has different manifestations throughout the country. A variety of natural material like grass, jute, coir and bamboo is used in making mats.
The craft of mat weaving is generally prevalent in the tribal communities of our country. As production of mats can be done without much technical efforts and use of special tools it also common amongst the poor sections of the society. The simplicity of the tribal communities and their creativity can be seen in the variety of mats they weave. Mats are not only used for utilitarian purposes, but small mats can also be used to decorate walls.
Mat weaving is mainly practiced in West Bengal, Pondicherry, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Northeastern states.
West Bengal is known for its variety of woven mats. 'Sitalpatti' (or cool mat) are made from green cane slips. This mat is ideal for summers. 'Maslond', another popular mat
is produced in Midnapur district of West Bengal. Mats from Bengal are decorated with traditional motifs, which are inspired by religious symbols and natural themes.
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