The cane and bamboo handicrafts of Tripura are considered to be among the best in India. The intricate and exquisite designs and the wide range of products and the perfection with whichthese are made add to its appeal. Not just a nationwide sale but Tripura also has its share of exports. The government of Tripura had launched a Tripura Bamboo Mission (TBM) in the year 2007 to boost the industry. The artisans have been organised into over 50 Societies/ Cooperatives and one Producer Company etc and today they are directly linked with leading retailers that sell authentic bamboo and ethnic products.
Apart from bamboo and cane handicrafts bamboo is also used as a primary building material in parts of the plains of Tripura. Bamboo is used in houses, granaries, shops, workspaces etc.
The artisans make furniture, lamp shades, handbags, wall hangings, fans and various figurines and decorative items out of bamboos. The bamboo screens made from split bamboo is also very much in demand. Bamboo table mats, flower sticks, mats are also very popular.
The artisans of Tripura are known for making the finest bamboo splits which are then woven into cotton or polyester warp. They also weave mats that are popular as window blinds and table runners. Unique and stylish jewelry is also made out of bamboo and cane in Tripura.
With the beginning of the carving of bamboo roots and the facilitation of work at the offices of the State Handicrafts Development Corporation at Agartala more and more artisans are joining the trade.
Apart from the art and the commercial aspect of the bamboo and cane products, it is also very much a part of the culture and beliefs of the state. Many statues and stories are woven in Bamboo root carvings. Bamboo is also used to make many day to day items such as fish traps, cattle muzzles, rain shields, sieves, baskets, covers and trays etc.
The government of Tripura is now offering sops, including increase of capital investment subsidy from 30 percent to 35 percent, to promote industries based on raw material available in the state. But this benefit is limited to the traditional natural resources that are available in the state which include gas, rubber, agri and horticultural products and of course bamboo.
The artisans and craftsmen today also have the option of selling their products online and there is a steady demand for these handmade and environmental friendly unique items. The exhibitions and tie ups with retailers also provide a boost to their income.