Why in News:
- Two women from Sabang in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinpur district have been given the National Handicraft Award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the development of crafts.
What are Madur Mats
- Madur floor mats are unique to West Bengal.
- An intrinsic part of the Bengali lifestyle, Madur mats are made of natural fibres.
- Madhurkathi was awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indication Registry in 2018. Madurkathi is a rhizome-based plant (Cyperus tegetum or Cyperus pangorei) found abundantly in the alluvial tracts of Purba and Paschim Medinipur.
- The origin of the craft in West Bengal dates back when ‘Masland’ mats of superfine variety with fine cotton as weft were produced under royal patronage.
- Mats were collected as revenue of the Jaigirdari system. In 1744, Nawab Alibardi Khan issued a charter to the Jaigirdars in this regard and as a result, it was obligatory to supply ‘Masland’ mats for use in the collectorate.
- Jagirdari system is a form of land tenancy developed in India during the time of Muslim rule (beginning in the early 13th century) in which the collection of the revenues of an estate and the power of governing it were bestowed on an official of the state.
Significance of Madur Mats
- About 80% to 90% of the entire workforce engaged in this traditional craft were women.
- This cottage industry contributes significantly to village household income.
- Mats are an integral part of the social fabric of rural Bengal, and Madurkathi mats are popularly used to sit on and as bedding.
- The mats are non-conductive and sweat-absorbing, making them an essential household item in West Bengal’s hot and humid climate.
- These mats are also used for religious purposes.
To know about GI tag: https://officerspulse.com/jamakkalam-weavers/