Material Crafts of Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir state has a rich heritage with respect to art and craft. Tours to Kashmir give the tourists the chance to explore the artistic tradition of the different tribes who make different parts of this colourful region their home. Each of these tribes has their own tradition and culture which is still reflected in their day-to-day items like clothes, utensils etc.

Kashmiri Handicrafts are prized possessions all over the world for their exquisite craftsmanship. The designs and Naqqashi work done on the various handcrafted items have a strong imprint of ancient tradition. Kashmiri artisans endeavour to carry on the ancient tradition of artistry, though a few changes have taken place. The remote rural regions in Kashmir provide the spectacle of these artisans at work, creating exquisite works of art. Kashmiri woodwork is very popular. Extensive carving is done on wooden furniture, wooden boxes and other decorative and useful items made of wood. The wood crafts also include intricately carved walnut wood furniture and accessories. Even Kashmiri Papier Mache work is quite popular, with items ranging from vases to bowls, jewellery boxes to mirror frames and other decorative items having exquisite traditional designs with vibrant colours on them. Stone jewellery boxes and hand woven willow baskets are also exquisite crafts of Kashmir, and the locals utilise these in their everyday use. The capital city Srinagar is lined with rows of shops filled with handicrafts on its streets. The array of products displayed is very appealing and suits every pocket, given the variety within each craft is wide.

Copperware and Silverware of Kashmir
Among silver filigree, bronze firearms and enamelled metal ware, it is the copper engraving that still flourishes in Kashmir due to the local demand and customs. Delicately beaten and engraved copper utensils are a common sight in homes and weddings, the traditional samovar being indispensable for serving tea. Hazratbal, Zaina Kadal and Khaniyar areas are the pockets of copper beaters and fine engravers. The old city too abounds with shops where objects of copper line the walls, floors and even ceilings, made generally for the local market. Craftsmen can often be seen engraving items of household utility such as samovars, bowls, plates and trays. Floral, stylized, geometric, leaf and sometimes calligraphic motifs are engraved or embossed on copper, and occasionally silver, to cover the entire surface with intricate designs which are then oxidized, the better standing out from the background. The ‘naqash’ work on these crafts determines the price of the object, as does the weight. To know more read:


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