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INDIA IS TRADITIONALLY a country of artistic crafts and handicrafts. For a long period of time these craft works in India were found to be concentrated in specific geographical locations based upon a system of agricultural occupational specialization which in small segments of community created a special art folk. Mat weavers, specialized in weaving of varieties of mats constitute a section of such Indian art folk. Mats in India are of different kinds and are produced in different parts of the country. However, the finer variety of mats, especially manufactured from madur grass (Cyperus tegetum) is concentrated in south-eastern part of the district of West Midnapore. (Link to ....Impact Study....)

Achievements: A district Level Society has been formed containing the all Artisans engaged with Madur Activity for better development & marketing. Total 09 nos. of Common Production Centre is developed and another 05 nos. of Common Production Centre is under construction.

Madurkathi is basically grass weed used for making mats at Purba Medinipur. Mat or madur wearing is an age old cottage industry of Bengal. Madur is a common item in any Bengali household and is used for sitting, sleeping and also religious rituals. Fair & festivals are the main market of the products while some life style boutiques also purchase premium products from these artists.

[Stories and myth behind- the history of mat weaving in India dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization and its socio- cultural relevance can be traced to the references found in our ancient literature. Records of the medieval period provide the first information of mat weaving in the region of Bengal. Before the advent of concrete or brick, furniture as we know it, had not been introduced in the rural Bengali homes people sat or slept on the floor. Since the floors were cool in summers but cold and uncomfortable in winter, mats and pallets or straw mattresses made from grass, leaf and reed, etc. were used to keep out the cold.]