Basketry of Meghalaya
Basketry is another household craft, much in vogue, still now. “There are different kinds of basket (ki khoh), as well as of different sizes and shapes. But generally they all conform to the conical shape, broad and round at the top, narrowing gradually to a point at the bottom”.
Besides, sleeping mats (shylliah or tlieng), winnowing fans (prah), sieve (pdung,) for sifting husked rice, rain shields (ka knup) manufactured out of painted bamboo and cane are still found in the rural areas. Rain shields with tortoise-shells-like design evidence the artistry and unique sense of beauty of Khasis, not yet fully appreciated by many.
Jaintia fishing traps made of bamboo sticks are also noted for functional beauty. Pineapple fibre bags were also crafted by the Khasis. “In every Khasi house is to be found the net bag which is made of pineapple fibre, or of u stien, the Assamese riha (Boehmeria nivea). These bag are of two sizes…the smaller for the ever necessary betel-nut. Paan leaves are kept in a bamboo tube, and tobacco leaves in a small one. Lime, for eating with betel-nut, is kept in a metal box, sometimes of silver, which is made is two separate parts held together by a chain. This box is called ka shanam, and is used all over the hills”.