Tribal communities have long practiced bamboo art as an art form that is both sustainable and showcases intricate craftsmanship from indigenous communities. Unfortunately, with urban migration and modernization taking hold, tribal bamboo art has been slowly forgotten - now at risk of disappearing forever. Here, we'll examine its importance and the reasons for its decline.
The importance of tribal bamboo art
Bamboo art has long been an integral part of Indian tribal communities. Used to craft baskets, furniture, musical instruments and jewelry - bamboo craft is an important source of income for these communities and expresses their close relationship with nature.
Bamboo's natural strengths, durability, and flexibility make it the ideal material for sustainable uses. Growing quickly as a renewable resource makes bamboo readily accessible - something tribal communities' use of it daily mirrors perfectly with environmental conservation goals.
These communities' bamboo crafts are an impressive display of skill and creativity. Utilizing various techniques, they craft intricate bamboo designs using bend, weave, and shape techniques - many have even become internationally acclaimed tourist draws!
Reasons for the Decline of tribal bamboo art
One major reason for the decline of tribal art is that their art form is highly undervalued by consumers which does not help them make a comfortable living, thus leading to urban migration. Younger generations from these communities are migrating to cities for better job opportunities and higher living standards, leading them to forget their ancestral skills, such as bamboo art passed on from generation to generation. As a result, traditional art forms like this one may soon fade from existence.
Tribal bamboo art's decline may also be attributed to limited market opportunities, especially with mass-produced goods taking their place and no proper infrastructure and marketing channels in place for tribal communities to showcase their goods to wider audiences.
Loss of indigenous arts and skills
Indigenous arts and skills passed down from generation to generation through traditional forms like bamboo art are both culturally rich and socioeconomically beneficial for communities, while their decline can contribute to cultural loss and homogenization within societies.
The loss of these practices threatens cultural heritage and can have drastic repercussions.
Efforts to Preserve Tribal Bamboo Art
Indigenous communities face several difficulties when it comes to maintaining traditional arts and crafts; yet there are initiatives underway to promote and preserve tribal bamboo art. Many non-profit organizations and social enterprises are working closely with indigenous communities in reviving traditional bamboo crafts; providing them with training resources so these skills will continue to be passed along to future generations.
One such organization is the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), which partners with over 200 tribal communities across India to promote traditional crafts such as bamboo art. TRIFED offers training, marketing support, and other resources to help indigenous communities turn these traditional crafts into viable businesses.
Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD), another Indian nonprofit, collaborates with indigenous communities in Kerala state to support traditional crafts like bamboo basketry and mat weaving. CIKOD offers training and marketing support services to these communities so they can turn these traditional arts into profitable enterprises.
Bamboo products are not only aesthetically pleasing but are also a sustainable resource that has many applications in the modern world. Therefore, we must understand and appreciate the value of tribal bamboo art and its contribution to cultural diversity.
Woody grass has been crucial in preserving and promoting tribal bamboo crafts in this context. Working closely with them, the company provides necessary training and resources to various tribal communities across India for creating high-quality bamboo handicrafts. A platform is also provided for these artisans to exhibit their products to a broader audience. In addition, this supports them in generating a lasting livelihood.
The rich cultural heritage of tribal communities is preserved by Woody grass. Furthermore, they are helping sustainably develop these disadvantaged communities. They safeguard the age-old practice of bamboo art from being forgotten. In addition, their effort is to guarantee its prosperity for future generations.