Kendrapara District is a riverine district in Odisha, where agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, with 70 % of the population dependent on cultivation. The district is home to many crafts, one of which is the golden grass craft. In the fields, Golden Grass or ‘Kaincha’ grow in abundance. Golden grass provides an alternative income and livelihood source for many marginal farmers and their families. In Jajang and Baruo, most women of age 12 to 67 years make handicrafts out of weaving the Golden Grass. Various products such as Hand-held fans, Bangles, Coasters, Pen-stands, Paintings, and File covers which these tribals are involved in making. Women of the region use it to make handicraft items such as baskets, mats, and boxes. Jajang and Baruo are the main hubs where most women and men are involved in this craft and trade.
For the promotion of this craft, the SANKALP project has been launched. FIRST IIT Kanpur has been engaged to overview the development of tools, machines, prototypes, and readily available solutions which can bring in product standardization, production efficiency, improve process-driven safety waste reduction and provide necessary training by developing Standard Operating Procedures through its network of start-ups, experts, and innovators for high-quality products.
A rich yellowish variety of reed grass, locally known as ‘Kaincha’ is called Golden Grass due to its golden lustre on drying
At harvest, the flower bud is removed and scattered in the wet grassland where they are harvested.
After peeling off the outer shell, the green grass is exposed to under the sun for 15-20 days till it evolves as golden colour. In this process of drying the grass weight is reduced to 25%, as water loss.
The golden grass after the drying process is stored in LDP plastic sheets.
Before starting the weaving process the artisans again dry the golden grass under the sun.
Finally we get beautifully handcrafted products depicting rich culture of Orissa.