:Smooth, cool, red and black designed, the traditional Pulppaya
or grass mats of Kerala is one of the oldest hand woven products
of the State. These mats have even found mention in the Atharva
Veda (3500 - 1500 BC), one of the four Vedas (philosophical treatises
of ancient India). Used to sit on as well as to sleep on depending
on their size and shape, these mats were at that time used mostly
by the elite when ordinary people used wooden planks to sit.
Woven out of the Korappullu, ( Cyperus corymbosus)
a 91.5 to 152 cm tall species of grass belonging to the family of
the Papyrus, these mats are designed in various colours. The Korappullu
grows to its maximum height during August-September. The villagers
collect them in bulk quantities, cut them into long thin strips
and dry these for three days. These strips are then dyed by boiling
the grass in water along with pieces of the bark of a tree called
Chapangam ( Caesalpinia sappan). Usually it takes an entire day
for one weaver to weave a Pulppaya of 183 cm length and 91.5 cm
The Pulppaya is a cool seating material and is
widely used in the State during the summer even today. Other articles
like bags, table mats, wall hangings, etc are also woven of this
grass. An industry common in the Palakkad and Thrissur districts
these mats and other articles have found a large international market.
And they have been exported to Canada, Germany, the U.S, the U.K,
Italy, New Zealand etc, for decades.
The Pulppaya has a market in the rest of India
too, especially in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta.
Comparatively cheaper one mat may cost you rupees
45/- to 800/- depending on size, texture and design.