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March 15, 2019

Exhibition of dying crafts ends on high note

Islamabad

March 15, 2019

Islamabad : A three-day National Exhibition on Dying Crafts of Pakistan concluded here at Lok Virsa complex, Shakarparian.

The exhibition was organised by the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) in collaboration with provincial culture departments, arts councils and small industries corporations with a sole objective to promote dying craft heritage and to encourage master artisans associated with them to continue practicing these important skills.

The exhibition also aimed to apprise the youth about the richness of the country’s heritage as well as garner domestic and international support for helping finance local artisans.

Endangered crafts that were focused in the exhibition were lungi (turban) weaving and block making from Sindh, metal work from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, salara (turban) and flassy (floor rug) weaving and Harappa artworks from Punjab, sharma or paloos and musical instruments making from Gilgit Baltistan, wood carving and papier mache work from Azad Jammu and Kashmir and traditional carpet weaving from Balochistan.

Prominent among these crafts were Khes, Lungi, Block making and Metal work. 'Khes' is a traditional cloth, which is made through weaving, binding and mixing of patterns.

The art of making khes first evolved centuries ago when this heavy, durable and intricate cloth was used as blankets; it later became an important export item during the Mughal era. 'Lungi' is a six-yard long piece of hand-loomed fabric with a border and a decorated ‘pallu’ or tail piece. Lungi is woven from cotton and come in a variety of designs and colours especially from Khairpur and Badin (Sindh).

The 'block making' is laborious work and only few artisans are left, who carve traditional designs on wooden blocks in the areas of Tando Mohammad Khan, Matyari and Hyderabad (Sindh).

The wooden blocks are hand carved from trees indigenous to Sindh that is keekar, tali (sheesham) and others.

The 'metal work', which was once common in cities and villages, is now gradually vanishing due to increasing costs and easy availability of imported metal ware on the market.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood on March 12.

He commended the efforts of Lok Virsa in promoting and perpetuating the indigenous craft heritage of Pakistan in such an effective and meaningful manner.

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