Arts & Crafts of Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Wood Work Carpentry and woodwork are native to the Andamans, and the Administration also provides training in this line. Several units are engaged in making furniture and other articles out of ornamental woods such as Paduak, marble wood, Chui, etc. Tabletops made of Paduak burr are a novel item produced.
CANE AND BAMBOO Beautiful hole cane baskets made out of thin cane twigs that are not split, are used by women for carrying market produce and for storage. A cheaper type is used by labourers engaged in construction work. Mention may also be made of the cane work done in the cellular jail. This is mostly furniture made to order. The total number of artisans engaged in cane and bamboo work in the Andaman is estimated at about 50.
SHELL CRAFT A fairly large number of shell workers, organised as private units, function in the islands. Their products extend from cleaned and polished decorative shells to table lamps, ashtrays, jewellery and buttons. There is much scope for improvement and expansion of sales in this line; a number of finer objects, for example, can be made from the polished shells with their pearly shine.
Small canoe models are made from wood by shaping it with a knife and inserting miniature sails of cloth, and these are in great demand by visitors.
A few persons also and crosses to wear round the neck. Chowra is known for earthen pots. The clay comes from the neighbouring island of Teressa, and posts are hand shaped by the women.
First low fired with a fire of sticks and leaves, the finished pots have a smooth, shining surface. They are brown in colour with a pattern of thick, dark, chocolate brown stripes obtained from the juice of tender coconut husk, applied before firing.