November 25, 2017
Ringal is small reed-like, thorn less variety of bamboo that is found in the higher mountain areas. It is also called as thin or dwarf bamboo. Uttarakhand has a long tradition of using ringal for making diverse utility items for sale or self-use and thus has been a valuable livelihood resource. It is traditionally stripped from high Himalayan forests and brought down. It is then peeled and fabricated by local craftsmen into a number of useful products including mats (chattai), cradles, umbrellas for devotees and a variety of baskets for different purposes such as sowing seeds, drying crops, carrying biomass; storing grains, vegetables and other household goods. These products are then polished with soil and dung. Women carry firewood, manure and vegetables in ringal baskets from the fields and forests. Ringal has historically been a source of livelihood for many harvesters, weavers and craftsmen in these hilly areas and plays a prominent part in the community's life.