Sikki Craft

The people, especially women, started making characters for storage of grains and household items from the flowering of Sikkhi grass in the waterlogged areas of Mithilanchal. In those days, almost every household in Mithilanchal used to make daily use items like Dalia, Mauni, Daura, Chattai etc. from Sikki grass. Over time there were changes in the productions made from them.Apart from food grains, toys, dolls etc. were also made for the entertainment of children and it was called as Sikki Crafts. Children also started learning to make toys, animals, birds etc. from Sikki. Some made a lion of Sikki, some a doll. The marriages of these dolls were also done with great pomp. The old women of the house used to teach the girls how to run family and family through them.In this way, creativity was developed in the children there from childhood. This meant that the presence of Sikkikala became necessary from children’s entertainment to daily living.In the course of the development of civilization came the Vedic era, in which the tradition of religious worship began. Idols of gods and goddesses were made from Sikki.

Sikki is a natural fiber found near the banks of rivers in the Koshi region of Madhubani district. Sikki grass is first cut from near the root and washed with water. Sikki flower is not used. The rest of the grass is cut and then shaved with a knife. The Sikki made after this are mixed with different colors and crafts are made. This grass does not have a high potency so Munj grass is used as a strength provider. Sikki crafts are various handicrafts which represent a unique culture of a particular region. It includes economic as well as traditional values. Sikki handicrafts also produce decorative and unique items along with items used in daily life. This art field is a source of income for many artists. Presently, Raiyam village in Jhanjharpur block of Madhubani district and Rampur village in Panadol block are famous for this art. Artists in Raiyam weave from Sikki grass and prepare various items. In Rampur, painting is done by cutting and pasting Sikki, which is a unique gift for art lovers. Currently UpendraMaharathi Crafts Research Institute is striving for the upliftment of this art and artists.

Sikki and khar grass are also needed to make Sikki a craft. Khar is wrapped and a golden layer of Sikki is put on it. All these works require a thick iron needle, knife and scissors. Sikki are torn and cut with knives and scissors. Then, with the help of a needle, which is called tukuya, the artisans attach colorful Sikki to each other in such a way that its beauty is seen. In the past, Sikki used to make baskets, mounis, dowras and accessories were used by the art of Sikki. Then, figures of gods and goddesses, birds, animals started being created. Small boxes, dolls, bouquets, table mats, mobile cases, pen stands, fame, toys, witches are evidences of the phased development of Sikki with changing times.

A new twist in Sikki art came when Mr. Dhirendra Kumar of Rampur (Madhubani) started to put Sikki on the canvas. It was not easy to create pictures with Sikki. But Mr. Dhirendra, with practice, perseverance and hard work, carved Sikki and started making unique pictures one by one.In this process, the first stem of the grass is peeled and made thin and soft with a surgical blade. Thereafter, sketches of photographs of hardboard deities and great legends etc are done with the help of favibonds, the stalks of Sikki are pasted and given the desired shape.

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