Khajur/ Date Palm Brooms of Madhya Pradesh

Domestic Arts/Crafts, Endangered/ Red List, Miscellaneous, Natural Fiber

Khajur/ Date Palm Brooms of Madhya Pradesh

The date palm tree is used economically. The fruit is used to make a cold beverage known as ‘neera’ in the region. While building houses, the trunk is used as a supporting beam. Water turbine mills use halved trunks to divert water. The tree was cultivated for aesthetic reasons as well. The leaves are used to make brooms, baskets, fans, and floor mats, among other things.

For generations, indigenous people from Rajasthan’s Koli community and Khajur Vanshi from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have made brooms from the date palm. This is a craft in which the whole family is engaged. Families involved in this trade often settle in areas where date palm trees are populous. To obtain the date leaves or Phadiya from high reaching trees, a sickle attached to a long bamboo handle is used. 

Since fresh leaves contain moisture, they are allowed to dry for three to four days in the shade during the summer and in the sun during the winter. The thorns are removed. Dried leaves are bound together in a bundle known locally as a ‘Gaddi.’ Broom making begins by keeping the ‘gaddi’ in one hand and separating the leaf blades with a scrubber, which is a comb-like instrument with a wooden base and a thick rubber sole containing sharp nails The leaves are collected into a ‘Mutti’ (bundle of five Phadiya) or sliced into standardised sizes. This expertise is often practised by women. Depending on the material available, the broom head is twisted and knotted with a strip of leaf, iron, or nylon rope. Nylon cords are often used to decorate the broom, with various colours of nylon rope on the pale-yellow leaf. Iron steel, on the other hand, is favoured due to its durability and toughness.




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