artisanal: moonj craft
- Moonj grass is a field demarcator
- It is dried, and coiled for basketry work
- Baskets are made during off-farm times
Medhora, a quaint village in Uttar Pradesh is home to women artisans who have for generations made basketry from a grass known as Moonj. The Moonj craft work is mostly done during the off-farm seasons. Moonj grass has always served a dual purpose: it was grown to demarcate the boundaries of fields and additionally repurposed to make baskets that formed storage bins for grains and other household items. Women from different households came together and fashioned beautiful baskets, even as they caught up with the local gossip and latest happenings. Today, the grass is dried on rooftops in the blazing sun and then cut to size. To make a basket, the grass is first bunched and coiled and the coils are bound together as the basket progresses in the round with either flexible grass lengths or cord.
Kadam Haat, an NGO are our training partners for this project.