In the mid-hills of Himachal one of the most common sights is a kilta or conical basket carried on backs.Kiltas are used to carry so many things, from grass to grains, from cow-dung to fuel wood, water pitchers to apples.Kiltas are indeed multi-purpose containers.
Made of bamboo they can be conical,oval and bulbous in shape. Traditional kilta making communities in the hills use a knife or a sickle for shredding and splitting the hill bamboo.Then the weaving is done by nimble fingers.
Besides the popular kilta there are other baskets, the ‘kondi’ is smaller and has a lid and a handle. Used for carrying or storing food or wool.
The ‘chabri’ basket is mostly seen in the kitchen or the store to keep rotis or other food items.
‘Peru’ is a huge basket covered with cow dung, and is used for storing grains.
The ‘thabera’ is a cuplike tiny basket with strings used for covering the mouths of cattle while threshing grains in the ‘khaliyans’ or fields.