Sikki Grass Craft – Beautiful Handicraft From Bihar

sikkimain

Content research by Shivanki and Written by Ananya Maahir

In Mithila, an ancient city of Northern Bihar which is now known as Madhubani, nearly all women are experts in one or the other popular crafts of the region, namely – painting which has now become famous as Madhubani / Mithila painting, embroidery, papermache craft and Sikki grass work. Products made in these five crafts by a girl raise her popularity in the family. Such is the importance of sikki craft in the region. Sikki craft is one of the most practiced craft form in the region and an outstanding art and handicraft of Bihar. It is one of the traditional art forms of Bihar and is a beautiful grass product of India.

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Image source: http://www.umsas.org.in/en/bihar-arts-crafts/sikki-craft/

The Sikki grass craft has been in existence since hundreds of years. It is difficult to ascertain the exact age of this craft. However, as a craft used for commercial use is a more recent phenomenon, over the last couple of decades. Crafting products, mainly various forms of utilities, divine figures, and toys, using Sikki grass are an integral part of the living of the women of the part of Northern Bihar.

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Image source: http://www.umsas.org.in/en/bihar-arts-crafts/sikki-craft

The history of Sikki grass craft shows that the grass craft has been in existence since hundreds of years. It is difficult to ascertain the exact age of this craft. However, as a craft used for commercial use is a more recent phenomenon, over the last couple of decades. Crafting products, mainly various forms of utilities, divine figures, and toys, using Sikki grass are an integral part of the living of the women of the part of Northern Bihar.

Generally, munj is used for coiling purpose due to its abundance in Mithila region of Bihar. It is completely coiled over and covered with sikki in such manner that it’s not visible. Takua, the main tool is a six-inch long needle-shaped iron object with a rounded head which is used to grip the needle. Usually, the takua is used by the right hand and the product is held accordingly by the left hand. To make sikki grass more pliable it is dabbed with water. No threads or cords are used.

Even though sikki is a golden colored grass, various colors are added to it to make colorful attractive products from it. Purple, deep blue, bright yellow, magenta, green and red all combined with the natural golden color of sikki grass are popularly used. The coloring is achieved by boiling sikki in different colors until the desired shade is reached.

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Image source: http://www.umsas.org.in/en/bihar-arts-crafts/sikki-craft

SIKKI PRODUCTS

  • Jhappa- Big containers with caps to store food
  • Mauni- Trays for fresh fruits, betel leaf and nuts, flowers, etc.
  • Pauti- Beautiful small boxes with caps to keep jewellery, Dry fruits, and other costly items.
  • Gumla- Bowl like containers for various uses
  • Saji- Flower Baskets
  • Idols
  • Baskets
  • Ornaments
  • Toys

The present status of sikki grass craft has changed. Due to the invasion of television and other forms of entertainments women have found new ways of spending their time. This has decreased the popularity of this craft form. Industries in the area have decreased the availability of Sikki grass. But still, some women practice this craft form, mainly in Madhubani, Darbhanga and Sitamarhi regions of Bihar.

These days new products like mobile cases, toys, paperweights, pen stand and other products are made besides the traditional products. Coiling without using munj is done by some artisans. Also, there is an evolution of the sikki grass art.A new art form has emerged using Sikki grass inspired from the Madhubani paintings wherein sikki grass is stuck on patterns of Madhubani paintings..

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One reply on “Sikki Grass Craft – Beautiful Handicraft From Bihar

  • Seema

    Hey guys, Very well written article. Sikki craft is known as auspicious by the natives and involving in daily practice of weaving it into ornaments and objects of utility. And it is a way for women to vent out their creative ideas.

    Reply

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Golden Grass From Bihar- Sikki Craft

Content research by Shivanki

In Mithila, an ancient city of Northern Bihar now known as Madhubani, nearly all women are experts in one or the other popular crafts of the region, namely – painting which has now become famous as Madhubani / Mithila painting, embroidery, papier mache craft and Sikki grass work. Products made in these five crafts by a girl raise her demand for marriage. Such is the importance of craft in the reigion.

Image source: http://www.umsas.org.in/en/bihar-arts-crafts/sikki-craft/

The Sikki grass craft has been in existence since hundreds of years. It is difficult to ascertain the exact age of this craft. However, as a craft used for commercial use is a more recent phenomenon, over the last couple of decades. Crafting products, mainly various forms of utilities, divine figures, and toys, using Sikki grass are an integral part of the living of the women of the part of Northern Bihar.

Image source: http://www.umsas.org.in/en/bihar-arts-crafts/sikki-craft

Generally munj is used for coiling purpose due to its abundance in Mithila region of Bihar. It is completely coiled over and covered with sikki in such manner that its not visible.  Takua, the main tool is a six-inch long needle-shaped iron object with a rounded head which is used to grip the needle. Usually the takua is used by the right hand and the product is held accordingly by the left hand. To make sikki grass more pilable it is dabbed with water. No threads or cords are used.

Even though sikki is a golden colored grass,various colors are added to it to make attractive products from it. Purple, deep blue, bright yellow, magenta, green and red all combined with natural golden colour of sikki grass are popularly used. The colouring is achieved by boiling sikki in different colours untill the desired shade is reached.

Image source: http://www.umsas.org.in/en/bihar-arts-crafts/sikki-craft

SIKKI PRODUCTS

  • Jhappa- Big containers with caps to store food

  • Mauni- Trays for fresh fruits, betel leaf and nuts, flowers, etc.

  • Pauti- Beautiful small boxes with caps to keep jewellery, Dry fruits, and other costly items.

  • Gumla- Bowl like containers for various uses

  • Saji- Flower Baskets

  • Idols

  • Baskets

  • Ornaments

  • Toys

 CURRENT STATUS

 Due to the invasion of television and other forms of entertainments women have found new ways of spending their time. This has decreased the popularity of this craft form. Industries in the area have decreased the availability of Sikki grass. But still some women practice this craft form, mainly in Madhubani, Darbhanga and Sitamarhi regions of Bihar.

 These days new products like mobile cases, toys, paper weights, pen stand and other products are made besides the traditional products. Coiling without using munj is also experimented. Also a new art form has emerged using Sikki grass inspired from the Madhubani paintings wherein sikki grass is stuck on patterns of Madhubani paintings.

 

ARTISTS AND ORGANIZATIONS

  • Bindeshwari Devi

  • The Sikki Sangh, a women’s co-operative in Ratwa

  • Meera Thakur

  • Gucchi Devi

  • Sikki Gram Sangathan  in Bihar

  • JIYO! Creative & Cultural Industries Pvt. Ltd.they have done research and helped in setting up co operative society for the craft making.

  • http://www.craftmark.org/

  • Mahendra Lal Karn, who is the Secretary of Lokhit Rangpeeth Seva Sansthan, Laheriagang, Madhubani. He is working for the development of the crafts of Madhubani since a long time and works for many artisans of sikki craft.

    Image source: http://www.umsas.org.in/en/bihar-arts-crafts/sikki-craft/

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