>> Korava (Basket-Weaving)
1.0 Craft Identity
1.1 Name of Craft: Basket Weaving
1.2 Vernacular equivalent: Koravas or Korachas (community-name)
1.3 Craft description: Putti (baskets), and Kasabarigey (brooms) are the products majorly in demand, but other cane products like mats and fans are also made.
2.0 Locations (within study area): Bukkasagara, Kamalapura, Basavandurga
3.0 Historical overview
Koracha, Koraga or Korava communities were originally aboriginal tribes who developed in a multiplicity of trades – hunters, fortune-tellers, cattle breeders, basketmakers and brigands. Koragas are independently defined as a wild tribe of basket makers who “live on the outskirts of villages and may not dwell in houses of clay or mud but in huts of leaves called koppu” [Walhouse, Madras Census Report 1901: 3465].
4.0 Work Process
4.1 Seasonality: Work is consistent throughout the year
4.2: Materials and their origins: Most of the grass used is picked directly from the kaluve, or canals, and this ensures that there is zero investment in raw materials. Different kinds of grass are used for different purposes, such as the eechal, ulpi and lakki. Coconut leaves and branches are used to make brooms called charals.
4.3 Tools: None required, baskets are handmade. Small knives are used to whit the grass.
4.4 Work Pattern: Baskets are made on a daily basis, and orders are undertaken occasionally.
4.5 Method of Production: Baskets are woven by hand.
4.5 Products: Cane and grass baskets, brooms, mats, fans.
4.6 Pricing range: Rs. 50 to 60 per basket, smaller items can cost less.
5.0 Crafts-Person’s perspective:
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find the right kind of grass, and this is proving to be a major setback to their work as they do not buy any raw material as such. This group has the least pride in its work and most craftspeople are hesitant to mention their craft origins since they were traditionally considered to be of a lower rank.
6.0 Lister’s comments
6.1 Uniqueness (in material / tools / products / location etc)
The grass required to make cane artifacts are usually located near canals and marshy areas, and is becoming increasingly sparse.
6.2 Socio-economic data: Most individuals interviewed fell under the BPL category, suggesting a low socio-economic background. They also tended to belong to the Scheduled Castes and backward sections of society. Basket weaving is undertaken by both men and women.