Two women from Sabang in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinpur district have been given the National Handicraft Award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the development of crafts. The announcement of national crafts awards for Gauri Rani Jana and Gauri Bala Das was made this Independence Day for their skills in making Madur floor mats that are unique to West Bengal. An intrinsic part of the Bengali lifestyle, Madur mats are made of natural fibres.
Madhurkathi was awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indication Registry in April 2018. Madurkathi is a rhizome-based plant (Cyperus tegetum or Cyperus pangorei) found abundantly in the alluvial tracts of Purba and Paschim Medinipur.
During the 18th century, Masland mats flourished under royal patronage. In 1744, Nawab Alibardi Khan issued a charter to land-owning jagirdars in this regard, and as a result, it was obligatory to supply Masland mats for use in the Collectorate.