Unfortunately I have lost the history I discovered about this ancient Indian art form
and I can't get the youtube to copy: http://youtu.be/HzOKxPhXTiE
if you copy and paste the link into your browser you can find two videos;
if you use the name below you will have to scroll down to find the art videos.
Creating pictures using small pieces of straw is an exacting skill that requires not only a discerning eye for choosing and mixing the right shades of straw, but artists with immense patience and with hands that have deft fingers to transform straw into gold. Narrow strips of differently-colored straw are selected and sorted out and each individual piece is cut to the right size with a primitive spear shaped instrument and glued together by hand on to a crepe silk canvas with gum arabic (tree sap). No artificial color, dye or paint is added to the natural color of the rice straw. Each picture has several hundreds of thousands of straw pieces carefully handpicked to reach the required shade and depth. This art is made by a very small group of artisans in villages of South India whose unique skills have been preserved over the centuries from generation to generation.
The Japanese have a history of using Rice Straw in their Titani mats and in sculptures.