I had asked on social media after these objects I had seen a couple carry on their bike on a highway in Andhra Pradesh. Seeing my curiosity and desperateness to photograph them, the biker had slowed down and the lady giggled and let me take a few quick shots. Nobody was harmed in the process, and we all left for our own destinations. Do you know what they are???
I received all sorts of responses but the correct answer with specific details by Pooja Jayan is given below. As part of her course as a design student she had studied about this interesting contraption made of palm leaves and bamboo strips. She said two years back she had bought one for about Rs 150/- in Namburu, near Vijayawada. There is only one community which specialises in making this and they are indigenous to Andhra Pradesh. These are rat traps!!!
The Yanadis, who have been traditionally making them are also rat catchers. They are contracted by local farmers to make these traps and then catch rats with them. Each rat caught earns them between Rs. 10 to Rs. 20 only, fetching about Rs. 10, 000/- in peak harvesting season.
Pooja had made detailed sketches which she unhesitatingly shared with me, and is happy to extend to all of you 🙂
According to ‘Peaceful Societies’, a website I found which is made by the Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham: “Over 460,000 Yanadi live in the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh…”
The Hindu carried an article on the present condition of the Yanadi, who lived out of gathering “honey, grass, tamarind, gooseberries, wild palm leaves (eethaaku), and an assortment of other forest products, known locally as karakkaya, palagadda, buraga banka, maredugadda, kanuga ginjalu, nerramamidi chekka, etc. and selling them in the nearby towns…”
Thank you Pooja 🙂
PS. Kiran, design student from NID Vijayawada recollects this contraption being called – ‘Elukabuttalu’
Have you seen anything so organic and sustainable in your part of India? People largely use rat poison which leads to human suicides in agricultural India!!!