Bamboo basketry is one of the oldest craft practiced all over India according to availability but vary in shapes and forms. Weaving pattern differs from place to place and as per the quality of bamboo and skillfulness of the artisan. Ringal or Dwarf bamboo is very flexible in nature, available in local forests of Uttarakhand. Bamboo craft is practiced in many places of Uttarakhand due to abundant availability of rich quality and variety of species of bamboo in local forest. Among the species of bamboo Ringal is one of the bamboo species.
Bamboo is a tall perennial grass found in the tropical and sub-tropical region in the world. The bamboo stems which are called as culms are cylindrical, woody and jointed. Majorities of the species have hollow stems, but a few of them are solid. These are called as male bamboos. Stems may be large and hollow when grown in moist, fertile climates and small and solid in dry, sandy soils. They have ability to stand dry as well as cold climates. Some grow even on an altitude as high as 3000 meters.
Local bamboo artisans’ make varieties of house hold bamboo products with tender bamboo splits. These products are very strong and suitable for multipurpose uses. Containers, storages, mats, baskets, winnows (sieve used when the crop is harvested to clear impurities in grains) are made to cater local needs.
Tender bamboo is cut and the splits are used to weave the baskets of different shapes and sizes. The artisan meticulously creates different patterns and forms of bamboo products by changing the weaving patterns. The style of weaving also helps for the durability and gives strength and stiffness to the product.
Uttarakhand has bamboo cottage industries based in Pithoragarh, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Almora and Nainital and in other rural pockets where clusters of bamboo grow.