What are the Traditional Handicrafts of Andaman and Nicobar Islands?

Jul 4, 2024 | Blog

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands, a long chain of islands in the southeastern Bay of Bengal, are rich in natural resources. The islands are abundant with wood and other forest products, including valuable timbers like Padauk, Badam, and Gurjan. Canes, bamboo, and numerous coconut trees also thrive here. The marine life is diverse, featuring coral, shells, driftwood, and seaweeds. Notable shell varieties include tortoise, and turbos. These natural materials are the foundation for the islands’ main handicrafts, such as exotic wood crafts, sea-shell ornaments, and palm mats. Curious to explore the handicrafts of Andaman and Nicobar islands? Read along or hop into sections that interest you the most. 

Woodwork

Amid all the other handicrafts of Andaman and Nicobar islands, woodworking and carpentry are popular ones. Many workshops produce furniture and other wooden items from ornamental woods like marble wood, Paduak, and Chui. Notably, Paduak burr table tops are unique handicrafts from these islands. Driftwood, shaped by the sea’s currents, is also common in Andaman and is transformed into art objects with creativity and precision. Wooden structures are used in house construction, canoe making, and plantation fencing. On some islands, brightly colored wooden statues of male and female pairs, along with animal and bird figures, are well-crafted.

Cane and Bamboo

Settlers from Andhra Pradesh and Kerala in the Andaman Islands are renowned for their bamboo and cane works. They create various exquisite items according to the provided designs. Beautiful cane baskets made from thin cane twigs are useful for women to carry and store market produce. Cane furniture made in the cellular jail is also very popular.

Shell Craft

No discussion on handicrafts of Andaman and Nicobar islands is complete without bringing forth shell-craft. The shell crafts include ashtrays, lamps, buttons, and jewelry made from polished, decorative shells. The tortoise shell, a unique resource, is large and available in beautiful shades. Items like table lamps, small boxes, and decorative pieces made from tortoise shells are available. Handicrafts from coconut shells are also common, as coconut trees are abundant. Popular items include finger bowls, table lamps, and other objects made from coconut shells.

Basketry and Mat Making

These traditional crafts are generally carried out by women in their free time. Mats made from Pandanus leaves and coconut stems are soft, cool, and light, used for sleeping, sitting, and hut construction.

Crossbows

Amid wide-ranging handicrafts of Andaman and Nicobar islands, crossbows are a novelty that attracts tourist interest. Craftsmen use grooved wooden beams with iron loops to hold the quiver and arrows. Crossbows are popular mementos among tourists, featuring iron circles and a furrowed focal bar.

Palm Mats

Palm trees are abundant in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, providing a rich source of palm fiber. Palm mats, typically made from Pandanus leaves and coconut stems by women in their spare time, add beauty to decor with their cool, soft, and airy texture. These are used as seating mats or doormats.

Takeaway 

While we wrap up this guide on the traditional handicrafts of Andaman and Nicobar islands, we’d like you to shoulder the responsibility of planning your Andaman trip to us. Reach out and set sail on an unforgettable journey with our Andaman tour packages. Discover the pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and lush landscapes with our exclusive 5 nights and 6 days andaman honeymoon package. The next time you set sail on your trip, share your finds with us!