On the occasion of Earth Day, Saturday, 22nd April, in association with the Indian Museum and DARICHA Foundation, INTACH Kolkata chapter organised an workshop on leaf ornamentation. Students from Sarojnolini Girls School took keen interest to learn about the fading intangible heritage.
From time immemorial, the leaves of the date and palmyra palms, and varieties of grass have been used to weave baskets and mats. In West Bengal, rural communities from the backward classes and several tribal groups, who live in the hills and forests, have been practising this craft for centuries. Though this is not a traditional folk craft, but an extension of it, each finished piece of such jewelry is a work of art, and is the product of meticulous work by dexterous fingers in tandem with hard work, dedication and love.
The workshop was to familiarize the students with the technique of making of such ornament, under the guidance of artists Chhobi Besra and her sister, Lokkhi Soren. Chhobi and Lokkhi are two of just a handful of artisans who currently craft jewelry from leaves and natural fiber. It was also aimed to develop an alternative source of earnings.