About this object

History of use

The antiquity of woven mats in India is supported by archaeological evidence and references in ancient texts. Mats are among the most important of household items in every strata of society. They are essential to most domestic activities and are used in sleeping, eating, sitting, and entertaining. The finest mats of West Bengal are woven of madur grass, grown and harvested by weavers of Hindu cultivator castes. This village-based industry is now assisted by the West Bengal Home Industry Board to establish cooperatives for mat transport and marketing. This mat was purchased from the weaver.

Cultural context

floor covering

Physical description

Rectangular grass mat of very fine regular weave. There is a thick border along two sides of the mat in light and dark natural-coloured material. The border has three bands. One band has a diamond motif, one has repeated diagonal lines and the other has repeated diamond motif. The ends of the mat have striped bands. One end has a short fringe in yellow, green and orange.