Thought behind the thought:
Gardening is an extremely insightful activity. Plants communicate with visuals constantly. There is growth, decay, flourish, hope, ambition, dependence and so much more that you see in plants every day. Yet it is the weeds that need to be constantly tended to. No matter how many times you remove them they persist. Their battle for survival is indeed inspiring. Just give them a grain of soil in the cracks between the tiles on a third floor apartment and they spring life out of there. Most of us wait earnestly for the ‘right circumstances’ to do anything. Well, learn from the weeds they will tell you that every circumstance is the right one.
About the Art:
Grass has had a utilitarian value for human beings since time immemorial. Used for practically, every human need be it food, clothing, shelter, grass is a very versatile material. It has been employed in innumerable ways across cultures of the world to produce innovative and creative products. In Bihar, a northern state of India, the Sikki grass craft is practiced for several centuries. Sikki is a golden grass, found growing in the wet and marshy area of Madhubani district in Bihar.
This seasonal wild grass has a natural golden tint and it grows in marshy areas. It is harvested during rainy season. A native tribe known as ‘Amas,’ is traditionally involved in harvesting the grass and processing it for sale. When the grass attains adequate height, it is cut from the base and dried under the sun. The upper flowering portion is discarded and only the blades or splinters are used. Since olden times and till date Sikki grass products are made by the women of the household. Especially brides-to-be make these artefacts and take them as part of their dowry to their husband’s home as a tradition.
These grass products are lightweight, organic, bio degradable and are very durable. The products made from Sikki grass are utilitarian, ornamental and often have a religious significance. There is an elaborate process of making of the products. Please visit the following link for the same : http://www.umsas.org/en/bihar-arts-crafts/sikki-craft/
Different products are made out of Sikki grass like containers to store grain, rice, and lentils, boxes to keep clothes and jewellery, baskets to store sweets and betel leaves and containers to store masalas (spices). Mobiles and toys are made for the children, while the women make bangles and jewellery for themselves. Most products are made for urban markets, while figures of deities are crafted for religious festivals. Contrast colours are used in dramatic ways and each product reflects the intuitive creativity of its maker.