'Pati bet', Schumannianthus dichotomus (Roxb.) Gagnep. -A raw material for preparation of livelihood supporting handicrafts
Rural people of the district of Cooch Behar, West Bengal are involved in making various crafts using raw material prepared from the wetland plant known as 'Pati bet', Schumannianthus dichotomus (Roxb.) Gagnep. and they earn a considerable amount of money for livelihood. Pati, used as raw material for preparation of crafts, is obtained from the bark of pati bet stem locally christened as Bet. Bark is processed through a series of cumbersome effort blended with unique techniques for which artisans require both skill and expertise, apart from specific tools used for respective activity. 'Sital Pati', a notable and durable mat is one such important craft among other domestic articles such as hand bags, purse, hat, seat, prayer seat, school bag, hand handled fan, etc. which embody the beauty of craftsmanship. This article documents the processing of bark from pati bet and its use in making various crafts in order to protect the right of common people; which, otherwise, may lose its validity of being indigenous in course of time as supposedly to be claimed by others as their own.
Pati bet, Schumannianthus dichotomus, Marantaceae, Raw material, Handicrafts, Livelihood.
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