Ringaal basketry is a popular craft in the Kumaon and Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Made out of the bamboo with the same name, it is generally weaved to make objects of domestic use, like basket to carry firewood, or as a storage container.
Ringaal Bamboo (2018/2018) by Project FUELProject FUEL
Ringaal bamboo is sturdy and flexible. It is small compared to other bamboos, growing only 12 feet in height. It is generally found near water bodies, along the rivers and in damp valleys and forests. Its products are found in almost every village household, mostly for storage purposes.
The first step to make a Ringaal product is to cut, clean and split the bamboo using a sickle. After this, the artisan uses a mallet to flatten down the pieces. It is then again cleaned to smoothen the surface. The waste obtained is used as kitchen fuel. To prepare the base, twelve bamboo splits are laid out to form a square open weave. The splits are then bent vertically and crossed over to lie diagonally to form the wall.
Soulta - a type of Ringaal basket (2018/2018) by Project FUELProject FUEL
The artisan here is making soulta, a kind of basket that is used to carry grass, cow dung cakes and firewood. The hexagonal weave of the basket makes it sturdy with minimal use of bamboo splits.
How Ringaal craft products are made colourful (2018/2018) by Project FUELProject FUEL
The products are generally green in colour, owing to the natural colour of bamboo. To make the products decorative, the inner splits are blackened using fire. Other colours like pink or yellow are obtained by dying them.
Laxmi Devi, Ringaal artisan (2018/2018) by Project FUELProject FUEL
Laxmi Devi resides in the Mansoona village of Ukimath, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand. Her Ringaal products are known for their beautiful designs and skilled mastery. Laxmi believes in financial independence, honing one’s skills and a temperament for learning new skills.
This short video about Ringaal artisan Laxmi Devi tells her story of defiance, independence, humility and of the belief that it is never late to learn anything new.
'Homespun in Uttarakhand' is an episodic series that features life lessons of seven master artisans of Uttarakhand, their personal stories and their passion celebrating the unrecognised & dying craft practices, which need preservation.
Presented by Project FUEL, in collaboration with Uttarakhand Handloom and Handicraft Development Council (UHHDC)
Director: Ajitesh Sharma
Director of Photography: Udit Khurana
Music: Sameer Rahat
Editor: Tushar Madhav
Producer: Apoorva Bakshi
Creative Producer: Deepak Ramola
Sound Design and Mix: Teja Asgk
Colorist: Shara Sethna
Project Manager: Neha Gupta
Research: Project FUEL