Shital Pati exhibition underway at BNM

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 17:51, Dec 07,2017 | Updated: 18:25, Dec 07,2017

Shital Pati

Visitors look at displayed Shital Pati and photographs featuring Shital Pati making at Bangladesh National Museum. — Snigdha Zaman

An exhibition featuring traditional Shital Pati (cool mat) of greater Sylhet region is underway at Bangladesh National Museum.

The exhibition, organised by the museum marking inscription of Shital Pati on UNESCO’s representative list of intangible cultural heritage, was inaugurated on Tuesday by cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor at Nalinikanta Bhattashali Gallery.

Among others, artist-art researcher Chandrashekhar Saha and Bangladesh National Museum trustee board chairman artist Hashem Khan were present on the occasion.

The week-long show displays around 50 mats of different shapes, sizes and designs, instruments used in Shital Pati weaving, videos and photographs showing weaving process of Shital Pati and more.

Shital Pati, literally meaning ‘cool mat’, is a handcrafted mat made by weaving strips of a green cane (Schumannianthus dichotomus) locally known as ‘murta’.

‘Weavers of greater Sylhet region have been making Shital Pati for generations. About 4,000 families in Sylhet region are directly involved in making the mat, which is a popular household item across the country. We are proud that it has been recognised as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO’, said Asaduzzaman Noor, while inaugurating the exhibition.

Visitors thronged the gallery on the opening day to see the displayed mats with different designs and weaving process of Shital Pati.

Four Shital Pati weavers from greater Sylhet region are demonstrating the process of Shital Pati making by weaving the mats at the event.

The displayed mats are available in different designs comprising traditional motifs like birds, flowers, animals, geometric figures, national monuments like Shaheed Minar and others.

Shital Pati made by Gitesh Chandra Das shows intricate designs and figures of animals like elephant, horse and bird. Another mat weaved by Harendra Kumar Das depicts mosques and temples.

A short documentary on Shital Pati weaving-from collecting, preparing and colouring the raw materials to weaving of the mats by both men and women weavers-is being screened as part of the show.

Around 25 photographs showing weavers collecting canes, stripping and colouring the cane strips and weaving the mats are also being displayed at the venue.

The exhibition will remain open till December 12.

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