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Cane craft at its best

Purbashree's North Eastern Crafts Fair presents an amazing variety of furniture and artefacts made out of bamboo and cane. On till October 15.

THE SWEET smell of grass, the golden colour of cane, the elegance of bamboo - and the skills of the crafts persons from the North East mingle at Purbashree's North Eastern Crafts Fair. The range and variety of cane and bamboo products speak volumes about the craft diversity of the North Eastern States.

Cane sofa sets, chairs and modas, and innovative wooden artefacts from Assam, beautiful bamboo chiks and screens from Tripura, a plethora of baskets and decorative pieces from Manipur, Nagaland and Meghalaya, a vibrant selection of tribal shawls from Nagaland and Mizoram, textiles from Manipur... all these greet the visitor's eye.

But what really draws attention are the plaited and jaali work cane sofa sets, modas and planters in classic styles from Assam. Crafted with an eye for design, aesthetics and comfort, the woven cane furniture includes a range of new designer products such as baskets, trays and toys. A striking addition to Assam's furniture repertoire is a bamboo sofa set with sturdy bamboo sticks placed together to constitute a set of chairs and centre table.

Among the worthwhile buys are the finely finished split bamboo chiks from Tripura. These are ideal for verandahs and as blinds and curtains. The bamboo screens come in varying widths and sizes and in several lacy designs.

And for those who fancy woven baskets, the North East offers a wealth of forms, concepts and designs. One can pick up beautifully woven fruit baskets, sporting whirls of twisted bamboo sticks, cane jewel boxes, which could also serve as decorative pieces candle stands, flower baskets and shopping bags. There are even tea and coffee mugs that have been crafted from cane. The traditional Mizo bamboo cap would make a perfect golf cap! Those who enjoy sleeping on grass could try the soft, springy, Kauna grass mattresses, from Imphal.

The North Eastern Crafts Fair has been sponsored by the Office of the Development Commissioner, Handicrafts, Government of India and is on till October 15 at Sri Sankara Hall, TTK Road, Alwarpet. A 10 per cent discount is being offered on all items.

PUSHPA CHARI

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