Kannadippaya (bamboo mirror mat) to find its way to GI registry soon

Kannadippaya (bamboo mirror mat) to find its way to GI registry soon

The beautifully woven traditional bamboo mat of tribal communities of Kerala - Kannadippaya (bamboo mirror mat) - with unique ‘kannadi’ design, will soon make its way into the Geographical Indications GI registry. A well finished kannadippaya – the square designs woven uniquely on this mat are called as ‘kannadi’ - reflects light differently due to unique arrangements of warps and wefts, creating different designs when viewed from different angles.

The charm and health benefits of this natural sleeping mat are also famous as it provides warmth in cool season and a cool effect in summer. Further, it is believed that those sleeping on this eco-friendly mat will not be susceptible to rheumatism and back pain.

The Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) which has been working on the project for the last two years, is all set to file an application to get the coveted tag for the traditional mat. This traditional mat woven only by tribal women, using slivers from special reed bamboo (thin-walled bamboo) “Tienostachyum wightii” with long internodes ample in the forests of Western ghats is famed for its unique designs, appealing excellence and light refractive properties.

The tribal weavers of the Kannadippaya inherited the craft from their parents especially from mothers to daughters passing from generation to generation. However, like many other traditional crafts, this craft was also struggling for survival due to lack of patronage. Hardly around 60 weavers have been active in the weaving of this natural mat by ethnic groups viz. Oorali, Mannnan, Muthuva and Kadar tribes mainly from Idukki, Ernakulum, Pathanamthitta, Palakkad and Thrissur districts. Other indigenous communities including Ulladan, Malayarayan, Malayan and Hill pulaya are also rarely engaged in its weaving.

The GI tag will provide an international market exposure to the traditional produce of the state, apart from boosting the local market visibility and opportunities.

Source: The Hindu

Published on: Friday, May 20, 2022