UNESCO recognises sitalpati or cool mat from Cooch Behar district as ‘intangible cultural heritage’
KOLKATA: Sitalpati or cool mat from Cooch Behar district has been recognised as an “intangible cultural heritage” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), according to a statement issued by West Bengal government.
These mats are used for sitting or to hang on doors or windows during summer. The mats are made up of weaved green cane slips of murta plants which are indigenous to the region. The gradual decline of sitalpati weaving was arrested by the proactive efforts of chief minister Mamata Banerjee who helped this traditional product gain global recognition.
As a result, sitalpati has found a place in the UNESCO-sponsored Rural Craft Hub project. Under this project training and marketing centres, and museums have been set up in 10 locations across nine districts of the state to help promote and market crafts indigenous to those regions, to national and international tourists.