Ringal Weavers of Kumaon

Posted in Village Ways Charitable Trust on Sunday, December 13th, 2015
Kamla Devi looks thin and old, but let me tell you, she is absolutely fit and fine. She walks for 4-5 hours everyday, collects fodder and wood from the forest, cooks for the family and also practices the age old craft of Kumaon- Ringal Weaving.
The green strips which you see in her hands are not some random leaves, they are strips of Ringal, the finest version of bamboo, found only at the altitude of over 7000 ft. The Ringal is strong enough to survive for 50 years. 
Kamla Devi cuts little branches of ringal with her sharp sickle and carries them in the cotton bag over her shoulder. She then starts making the basket, which takes almost a day to complete.
She used to make ringal lamp shades, pen holders, huge baskets and some other handicrafts, mostly for the domestic consumption needs.
Supi, the village she resides in is a remote village in the hills of Kumaon, it is very difficult for the locals to find a market to sell their handicraft. We at Villages Ways Charitable Trust have been working towards restoring the lost craft but also connect the weavers to the buyers. Very recently, we got the weavers an order from an international ayurvedic beauty products company, and since then the demand for the Ringal Basket has been increasing ! The age old craft and the efforts of women like Kamla Devi have reached out to consumers worldwide, and has generated another source of income for them.