Arts and Crafts
Publishing Date: Thursday, May 19 2005
In fine arts, Pashtoons have committed themselves to the literature alone. Among the professions, they have adopted only Agriculture. Other professions are generally ignored by Pashtoons but professionals knowing Pashtoon mentality have created arts in which Pashtoon character is reflected. Pashtoon culture is patriarchal. In power, they see greater beauty itself. Delicate and soft jobs are left to women, so mostly the arts and crafts are produced by women according to the area and climatic conditions and the condition of availability of raw material for these crafts. Painting is considered un-Islamic that is why in the past we do not see any work of painting related to Pashtoons. However other arts and crafts are worked on and practiced mostly by women in different area.
In southern area a tree or plant called Mazaray is found in abundance. This palm like tree, the leaves of which are very much valuable because nearly all the crafts and arts are done with this. The trays, the utensils and other things of daily use are made very delicately from the leaves of palm. After treating the leaves for a few days, so that to make them soft, they are then spitted in thread like portions. A special kind of grass called Ghurhga or like Lemon grass is used in it. Around the grass the threads are woven beautifully and things are made from it; boxes, beauty box, hand fans, trays, book shelves and bowls are made from this palm tree leaves. Now a days many decoration pieces are made from it.
- Nazar Band
Most of the delicate artistic work is done by the virgin girls. Nazarband is beautiful hand work, in which the shells and beads of different colors are threaded in golden thread. This Nazar Band is usually stitched in the caps of children and worn by the virgin girls to ward off the evil eye.
This is a type of necklace. A few golden threads are woven together in it delicately. Beads of different colors are threaded. Caps for the boys are also made with beads and golden thread. A beautiful art work is stitched and the flowers are embroidered with it. So the caps of elders which are called 'Kullah' are stitched with golden thread some times made of real gold. Beautiful work of art is done on it, which is called' Kullah Dozi'.
- Kalla Dozi
Usually Kullah Dozi is the art of the professionals. It is done like cap for the elderly people. Simple Kullah is made artistically from wheat. Straw. While on golden Kullah figures are made. The lower part of the Kullah is made of valvet. The inner portion of Kullah is stitched with silky cloth.
- Lungi Bafi
It is the work of making a special type of cloth, which is used as Lungi around the Kullah. Lungi and Kullah together make 'Patkay (Turban) which is part of the cultural dress of Pashtoons.
The Pashtoons are Muslims. They use rosary beads for reciting the names of God. It is an art to make rosary in which beads of stone or other precious material are used.
- Karoshia Work
It is special type of needle having hook in the jet portion. With this, thread is woven in different shapes. Caps, tablecloth, mantelpieces and other garments are made. Sometimes hand fans and sweaters are also woven with karoshia.
It is the art of stitching silk or gold thread on different cloths. Normally the women in the villages do it. Shawls of different types are stitched beautifully.
- Gota Kinari
This too is the work of stitching and threading figures on women's garments. It is different from Kasheeda, because the already made material is used in it.
- Azar Band
It is an artistic work of making a kind of belt for trousers. The main part of Azar band is woven with threads with the help of a special device. Hand work is done on both the ends of the belt. Some times silk or golden thread is used for the purpose and women thread the beautiful color beads in both the ends of this special Azar Band.
- Gumanz Sazi
It is a professional work of making combs from wood. Now-a-days it is replaced by plastic combs. But hand made combs are preferred in religious duties. There are two kinds of combs made of wood. One for combing hair and other for combing beard at the time of ablution. It is a very ancient craft and profession in the Pashtoon areas.
- Wood Work
It has been a very old profession. Carving and embellishment is done on wood which is used in doors and pillars and on the frame of the doors. Nowadays woodcarving is being done on tables and other furniture.
- Tilla Kari
It has been the profession of cobblers and is still being practised in different places. Panrha is foot wear for women and special panraha for men is also made. The men foot wear, which is called 'tsaplai'. All of these are made with tilla, which is a golden thread. In tsaplai tillais used in certain portions, while the whole panrhais stitched with tilla.
- Woollen Carpet Weaving
Handwoven woolen carpets are made in special looms called 'Kady'.Some times they are woven with hands. It has been an art in Pashtoon instead synthetic carpets are being used. However, in some places still carpet of wool is woven by hands.
- Shama Sazi
Shama Sazi is the art of making candles. Making candles in moulds has been the profession of some people here. Nowadays wax is used in making candles.
It is the art of stitching threads of silver and gold artistically on a stripe of cloth which is used as ornamental adornment for women cloths and also used in other decorations.
- Kalosha Sazi
It is special kind of footwear that is used in winter by the elderly people. It is made of special kind of leather. In the inner portion, a soft fur is used which is made of woolen cloth or cotton.
Warm shawls of wool are made in Charsadda, Bannu and Swat especially. Most of them are Gents shawls. These shawls are known as "Patou."The thick ones are called "Loyee."
This is also one of the much used handicraft of NWFP, and that is why it is very well known and popular among almost all over Pakistan. It is a very popular footwear. Although it is a specialty of Charsadda (a division of NWFP), it is also manufactured in Peshawar and to the reason of Peshawar being the capital of NWFP, this handicraft is known as Peshawari Chappal. In Peshawar this handicraft is manufactured in "Mochi Larah"and "Jahangir Pura"bazaars.
- Brass Work
Brass work is on the top of all handicrafts of Peshawar. Brass work is done on many things like household utensils of daily use to decoration pieces. In Peshawar a big market is allocated for this handicraft, known as, "Misgaran Bazaar," that means, bazaar of brassworkers.