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UNESCO honour for Kerala's 'Straw Mat'

The United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has awarded 'Seal of Excellence' to the indigenous 'Killimangalam Pulpaya' (traditional straw mat) made at Killimangalam, a village in the Palakkad district of Kerala. A communication in this regard has been received from the Paris office of UNESCO, Mr. Raman Namboodiripad, President of the Killimangalam Pulpaya Sangham said. Large numbers of tourists visit the center to buy this traditional mat to keep as a souvenir for their visit to God's Own Country. They are also marketed through the 'Crafts Council of India' (CCI) in Chennai.

The eco-friendly 'Killimangalam Pulpayas' are famous for beauty and quality. The mats are coloured with a natural agent Chappangam. Mat weaving is an inherited possession of Kuravas, a native community. Weaving of a mat would take around fifteen days and a high quality mat would cost around Rs. 1500.

The Seal of Excellence is an ultimate recognition by the UNESCO for crafts persons either individually or collectively to create, innovate and reconcile tradition with modernity, and to refashion the past to suit the present. The winners can use the 'SEAL of Excellence' as a promotional tool to indicate the quality and authenticity of the product. Producers will also be invited to display and sell the products at the annual exhibition and trade fair organized exclusively for SEAL products and at international trade fairs. All SEAL products will be listed on the CCI and UNESCO websites, on which buyers can place orders.
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