Archive for March, 2017

Hamiltonii and Nutaans Bamboo as a Raw Material for Craft

As a farmer turned entrepreneur craftsman, my journey of diversification, from conventional agriculture to bamboo agro-forestry has been an interesting saga.

Wood is an important raw material for us. Unfortunately, this is a non-renewable resource, which has been over exploited over the last so many years. We, as mankind, have wiped out our forest cover at an alarming rate (and still doing so). Our  indifference and greed has thus resulted in precipitating irreversible ecological changes. For instance, global warming is a direct result of pollution and deforestation, which, if not controlled, could wipe out 20% of Bangladesh, due to the rising sea level. One can cite numerous examples.

Policy makers, have now, grudgingly accorded high priority to ecological rehabilitation. Afforestation has thus become a global focus. CITES, is a result of one such global endeavor to save our forests.

Recently, CITES has listed Shisham and indian Red Wood in its watch list- Wooden Handicraft Industry has had a direct hit.

For some reason, I had a premonition, couple of years ago, and I had commenced collecting information on Bamboo, including elite planting materials etc. I have been in touch with many universities and my travels took me to all quarters of the country, wherever bamboo was said to be growing.

We short-listed Bambusa Balcooa, Bambusa Nutaans, Dendrocalamus Hamiltonii, Dendrocalamus Strictus and Dendrocalamus Membranaceous.

We made trial plots- but unfortunately, the rooting in Membranaceous and Balcooa was poor- we lost all plants.

We managed saving a few plants of Hamiltonii, Nutaans and Strictus.

The bottle-neck with bamboo, to be exploited as a wood, is its inter-nodal cavity and fiber orientation. Notwithstanding, its an excellent resource since it grows fast, and, by way of systematic agro-forestry, also renewable.

I have seen some variants of Dendrocalamus Strictus and Membranaceous almost fully solid, a quality, that perhaps, can make them a good substitute to wood.

Nutaans and Balcooa are thick walled- excellent for construction works etc. Both have straight growing habits, thus have a ready market.

In a recent experiment, I cut full length culms 2 year old of Nutaans and Hamiltonii- further divided them into 2 foot segments, to compare the wall thickness at similar heights. I noticed that Hamiltonii, though thicker at the base, with almost same wall thickness as Nutaans, lost out at around 18 feet, where its walls started to become thinner than Nutaans. Further, Nutaans is open culming- and easier to harvest- especially, if you are harvesting in a horse-shoe pattern (selective harvest)


In light of above, I feel Nutaans is a better choice for farmers, than Hamiltonii.

I am still in the process of establishing Balcooa and Membranaceous- rooting has been a problem with Membranaceous---- Any suggestions or advice, as to how to get it to root ???

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Medieval Viking Bearded Axe with Bamboo Handle

Viking Axes and Weapons are considered collectors items, invoking reminiscences of the Viking age.

Vikings (In local vernacular- vikinger, vikingar, víkingar), were Nordic seafarers, primarily speaking the Old Norse language. They raided and traded across wide areas of Europe, during the late 8th to late 11th centuries.


One of their axes is popularly called the Bearded Axe or the Skeggöx (from Old Norse Skegg, beard + öx, axe), which was in vogue around the 6th century AD, a time period associated with Viking Age. The lower portion of an axe extends out like a beard, and hence the nomenclature. There are many variants of this design, in use by foresters, even today.

Our Bearded Viking Axe head is HOT FORGED in 6150 Steel. Equivalent grades- 735A51 50CrV4 50Cr4V2 EN47 6150 SUP10). Analysis Carbon 0.48-0.53% Silicon 0.15-0.35%, Manganese 0.70-0.90% Phosphorous 0.040% max, Chromium 0.80-1.10% Sulphur 0.035% max, Vanadium 0.15% min

The haft/handle is in bamboo. Bamboo has longer fiber and is said to be stronger than wood. Some of its mechanical properties are comparable with steel. Additionally, the species of bamboo that we use ( Dendrocalamus Strictus) is ALMOST FULLY SOLID, with a very small inter-nodal cavity. Because of its unique anatomy, bamboo has the quality of absorbing the shock, much as a shock absorber, thus making it a better material for hafts and tool handles. In India, most farm tools have bamboo hafts/handles

Overall: 24 inches
Weight: 1 kg alloy steel head, 300 gram, self locking SOLID bamboo handle


HRC 48 to 50

Surface Protection treatment- as per the color choice

Buy on

On  (America)


(UK and EU) 

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Rattan Cane and Bamboo for Handicrafts

Rattan Cane and Bamboo are often confused with one another, despite them belonging to entirely different families.

Rattan Cane is a creeper-palm. The word "Rattan" ( Malay rotan) is a family of about 600 climbing palms belonging to subfamily Calamoideae (Greek 'kálamos' = reed).

Synonyms for Rattan- manila, or malacca (named after the ports- Manila and Malacca), Manau (Malay rotan manau, which is the trade name for Calamus manan canes). The climbing habit is associated with the characteristics of its flexible woody stem, derived typically from a secondary growth, makes rattan a liana rather than a true wood.

The largest rattan genus is Calamus, distributed in Asia and Africa.

Daemonorops, Ceratolobus, Korthalsia, Plectocomia, Plectocomiopsis, Myrialepis, Calospatha, Pogonotium and Retispatha, are found in Southeast Asia.  Laccosperma (syn. Ancistrophyllum), Eremospatha and Oncocalamus are found in Africa.

The bamboos are grasses- evergreen perennial flowering plants of subfamily Bambusoideae, family Poaceae. Bamboos have hollow inter-nodal regions, though some are almost solid, e.g., Dendrocalamus Strictus and Membranaceous.  The vascular bundles in Bamboos are scattered throughout the stem instead of in a cylindrical arrangement. The dicot woody xylem is also absent. The absence of secondary growth wood makes bamboos columnar rather than tapering.

Bamboos include some of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo has a higher specific compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete and a specific tensile strength that rivals steel.

Bamboo and Cane agro-forestry systems, thus offer a sustainable option to save our forest cover, which is the backbone of human existence on earth.

Bamboo and Cane are an excellent raw material for handicraft industry. 20160527_194924_resized71KXC7vxZ4L._SL1500_12_Seater_setty2-Asian-Moderne51tPjGFv8zL._SL1500_81K0QD9NwRL._SL1500_640c4c0063bc04bd7c1dd76f2dd4bc80800px-Baseball_bat-Louisville_slugger_construction

The word bamboo comes from the Kannada term bambu, which was introduced to English through Indonesian and Malay.

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Handcrafted Weapons for Self Defense

As a grower of bamboo, we have now launched a range of self defense products, which are delicately handcrafted, yet strategically brutal weapons.

Some of the Bamboo Species at our farm are almost solid, thereby facilitating making of walking and hiking canes.

Dendrocalamus Membranaceous and Strictus are some of the nearly solid bamboo species.


Walking or Hiking Canes, besides being a prop, are a formidable weapon too.

History of Stick Fighting

Stick-fighting, is a class of martial arts which employs blunt bamboo 'sticks' for fighting; such as a staff, cane, walking stick or a baton.

Stick-fights are an important part of the anthropological heritage of various cultures, such as the Surma and  Nyangatom tribes of Ethopia/Africa. Traditional European systems are mentioned in numerous manuscripts written by masters-at-arms, but have somehow become became extinct.  Portugal's jogo do pau, the related juego del palo of the Canary Islands, France's canne de combat or la canne, and Italy's scherma di bastone are some examples.

Giuseppe Cerri's 1854 manual Trattato teorico e pratico della scherma di bastone is influenced by masters of the Italian school of swordsmanship, Achille Marozzo and perhaps Francesco Alfieri.
The French system of la canne is still practised as a competitive sport. A self-defense adaptation of la canne developed by Swiss master-at-arms Pierre Vigny in the early 1900s has been revived as part of the curriculum of bartitsu.

Nivkh people from Sakhalin used long sticks called z'ar t'ar for sacralized ritual fighting.


Kendo is a Japanese martial art, having probably descended from swordsmanship (kenjutsu). It uses bamboo swords . The introduction of bamboo practice swords is attributed to Naganuma Shirōzaemon Kunisato during the Shotoku Era (1711–1715).

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Show-casing a few below

Bamboo Canes

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