Kaluang, the multi-purpose tribal basket
I have very less knowledge how several villages have the name for this particular long basket. But, I believe most of us must be calling as “Kaluang”. In our early society this Kaluang was used to measure rice harvested from a paddy field to count how much a family has harvested. It was also used for the same measurement while borrowing rice to eat and it’s seed to other families.
For some families it was used as a bride’s gift to show respect to a woman. This Kaluang and another traditional made similar to Kaluang with many big spotted holes known as “Nkha”(used for carrying firewood and vegetables) is particularly meant for women and for men folk there is other short basket called “Chaveh” with or without spotted holes used for carrying fish, wild fruits, or meat of hunted animals and birds. This Kaluang is made only by men.
Today, this kaluang, nkha or chaveh was hardly seen in our families. And in fact many young people do not want to carry this anymore. They prefer to use plastic bags that cause more pollution in society. For rich people they replaced this Kaluang by other carriers to carry rice and other stuffs. No matter how many different modern products people use today, it is always important for every indigenous citizen to preserve our traditional made like this.
Not only to preserve what was made but also to preserve the skill to make our cultural things and attires. The only way to preserve such culture is to learn from the older people and teach to our children to sustain the culture from generation to generations.