Papier mache, a technique used in several parts of India involves manipulation of paper. The literal meaning being chewed or chopped paper, several adhesives such as clay, glue, starch provide strength and adaptability to convert the material into utilitarian and decorative products. The making process starts with degenerating paper by first soaking it in water. Once the matter is pounded to pulp – a crucial step to achieve smoothness in the final product, adhesives and wooden moulds are used to give shape to the treated paper. Successive layers are added as per the required thickness and further decorated with paint.
Cards, File covers, folder, pen holders, jewellery boxes, masks are some of the products made out of papier mache in Assam. Masks made of papier mache and bamboo are particularly famous in Assam and worn by locals for local folk festivities.