The use of straw grass and twigs to make containers and mats dates back to earlier times. The areas of Jammu and Kashmir which are rich in vegetation around lakes make it ideal for basketry. While basketry has never been considered an important activity it has been closely linked with daily lives of the people. In Kashmir wicker which is found in abundance is used by the crafts man known as shaksaz or kainyal to make charmingly quaint objects, ranging from shopping baskets and lampshades to tables and chairs ,all generally inexpensive. To increase their life-span, unvarnished products should be chiseled and frequently sprayed with water, particularly in hot, dry climates, to prevent them from brittle.
Because the plenty growth of willow, the willow/wicker craft is deeply rooted in local folk tradition. The product includes tokras, tokris(baskets), oval shaped containers with lids and chhikus etc. In Kashmir ‘Kangri’ the handmade warming equipment is made with an earthen bowl wrapped in a frame of decoratively woven willow.
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