Kauna Grass Products for Manipur
Kauna products were originally made for local utility purposes. The stem is also relished as food. Kauna objects were usually basic in design, with a touch of color if they were needed for ceremonial gifting. The most popular product among local Manipuris is the mats, mattresses, and cushions which serve as furniture in a room where people do most socializing, working, and eating while seated on the floor in the traditional style.
Weaving Kauna Grass Into Mats and Baskets
The Process of Weaving Kauna Grass, a Locally Available Grass, into Mats, and Baskets in Manipur. The many shapes, colors, and styles are just as varied as the vast array of materials. Handmade Baskets are not only a way to add beautiful accents to your home, but they are also used for storing purposes. Kauna grass is soft and spongy inside. The spongier it is, the better the quality of the basket.
Procedure: Collecting and Drying the Grass
The process of making Kauna Grass baskets starts with the farmer who cultivates the grass, along with paddy. He harvests 2 to 3 crops a year and derives a fairly good income from its sales to basket weavers. The grass grows to a height of around 6 feet or more and is cut when at its full height. Kauna grass has to be completely dry before it is woven or else the product becomes mouldy. It is dried thoroughly and sometimes even catches the warm smoke from a fire if it is spread over rafters on the ceiling. The spongy inner portion of the stem has to be completely dry to prevent mold. The grass is either kept its natural color or dyed in bright colors to highlight the natural shade or be made into a fully colored basket.
The weaving procedure of Kauna Grass for Baskets
The grass is first woven into a flat circular or oval shape, as the base of the object, after which spokes of grass directed upwards forms the ‘warp’ which is then interwoven with the portion that can be called the weft. The base or starting point of any woven piece begins with an oval or a circular pattern. While weaving, simple tools are used to tease a strand of grass into place according to the pattern or texture required. Normal the baskets are made by Women, occasionally by trained master weavers. Patterns on stools, baskets, and bags are preplanned and worked to suit the shape required.