Various cottage and small-scale industries in Assam are dependent on the supply of different kinds of cane and reeds. It is observed that generally three species of cane are exploited in commercial quantities- Jati (Calamus tenuis), Tita (Calamus leptesadix) and Lejai (Calamus floribundus). Some less important qualities like Sundi (Calamus garuba) and Raidang (Calamus flagellum) are also extracted.
Various types of cane and bamboo products are found in this state. The people of the plains and hills districts of Assam have their own bamboo and cane products with distinctive features and typical designs. The products of the plain districts differ from that of the hill districts in use, shape and design.
It is found that a variety of products like bamboo mats, sital pati, baskets of various sizes and shapes, winnowing trays, sieves, japi or chatta, various types of fishing implements, etc. are manufactured in large numbers in the plains districts of the state. The cane and bamboo products used for domestic purposes are prepared in every nook and corner of the state out of split bamboo and fine flexible cane strips.
No definite records are available to establish the antiquity, history and origin of this craft in Assam. However, it can be safely assumed that the craft was practiced since the misty past with the very dawn of civilization. In the early period in Assam, bamboo was held with special reference and is forbidden to cut in “auspicious days”. It is a general belief that bamboo possesses auspicious character and is of religious significance.
An idea about the flourishing state of cane and bamboo products of Assam was fond even during the time of Bhaskara Varman (early part of the 7th century A.D.), the king of Assam, may be had from the following extract. (An extract from “The History of Civilization of the People of Assam” by Dr P.C. Chouudhury.)
Source : http://ignca.nic.in/craft152.