Bamboo and cane, or rattan, are considered as non-timber forest products. Products made from bamboo and rattan are popular the world over; these products have enormous earning potential and bamboo products, along with rattan-ware and reed-ware are a source of income for poor artisans who have been engaged in this craft for centuries.
The stems of the giant varieties of bamboo are used for making decorative craft items. The bata or reed, a smaller variety that grows in the southern and western regions, is used for making a variety of baskets. Bamboo and bata are plant varieties whereas rattan is a creeper.
Craft areas are located close to the source of the raw materials. Bamboo craft is found mainly in the south-western and central parts of the country, whereas rattan-ware is distributed all over the island-country. It is mostly women who practise these crafts, though entire families are sometimes engaged in this craft as a means of procuring a livelihood. Most of the products are made for the local market.
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