There are many crafts in Nepal but basketry is a particularly useful one. The techniques can be used to create everyday utensils, baskets, hats, mats bowls etc. Bamboo is the most widely used raw material: ‘Malingo’ and ‘Nisalo’ is used for fine basketry whilst ‘Bans’ is used for the heavier daily
used items.The Bamboo is split into strips of varying lengths and then woven into various patterns. Sometimes the Bamboo is dyed using natural products such as nettles which produces a lovely earthy green. Or occasionally they ‘smoke the Bamboo to stain it a darker colour to make attractive patterns in their bowls and mats.
The items that they make range from cradles, to people carriers (dhokas). These are used to carry older people and/or babies on journeys through the hills. Handbags made from Bamboo are very popular with tourists as they are light in weight but strong enough to carry essentials such as a purse or mobile along with a few other bits. Unusual items made from bamboo are slowly dying out such as the Personal Rain Shield because cheap umbrellas made in China are slowly taking over.
In remote areas of Nepal, baskets are produced for personal use but also to earn a livelihood at local markets or through organisations like NLT that sell these items on their behalf in various count ries.