half made bamboo baskets on table
Project (2022)

Materiality as a Constructed Notion: Bamboo Basket Makers Can Tell the Story?

This project discusses the journey of natural plant fiber together with a set of human skills in a given spatial and cultural context. I investigate how and why the bamboo basket-making community in South India holds a shared knowledge for assessing the quality of bamboo as a material to be transformed into an object. Object-making techniques are acculturated practices encompassing a spectrum of tools, materials, and users. The uniqueness of the fiber embedded within the bamboo plant is a decisive factor in making the basket. Extracting and segregating fiber from bamboo/plants could be narrated as an age-old method of “material processing.” Looking back at its long history, this unique technique of extracting and segregating fiber is still used and transforms with changes in the material (plant) species, tools, and the space where it is practiced. So, what were the changes that took place over time in accessing the material due to the rules, regulations, and environmental transitions in the specific region?


Narayanan, Madhu (2023). “Following ‘Fibreality’: What Does the Making of Bamboo Baskets Tell Us?” ICON: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology 28 (2): 105–127.

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