The paddy craft of Odisha is an unique art in district of Koraput, Kalahandi, Balasore and Bolangir. The tribes of Gond have taken to agriculture are the chief expert of the craft.
Rice is a representation of affluence and so the goddess Lakshmi is prevalent and prepared by the artisans. Other themes include cart, chariot, elephant , jewellery and other idols and deity. The majority objects crafted have a relationship amid religion.
The raw material required is mainly un-husked paddy seeds of uniform size. The only other raw material that is needed is thin bamboo sticks and strong yarn in red, green and yellow colours.
The process involves tying by hand each individual paddy seed to two thin bamboo sticks that are placed parallel to each other at a minute distance but are sufficiently close enough to hold the paddy seeds tightly in a straight line.
This is a very painstaking and repetitive job that requires high degree of concentration and unmatched dexterity.
Each and every seed of paddy has to be knotted individually. Garlands of paddy seeds are thus formed with different colored threads which are then pieced together to give different shapes.
The length of each of these paddy garlands is approximately one yard. About ten paddy garlands are required to create 30 pieces of Goddess Laxmi in a medium size. Each of these pieces is sold at a nominal rate.
After household chores are over women and children usually perform the hard task of making the paddy garlands in their spare time; both the men and women then craft the final images.