Reviving an Ancient Craft: The Global Renaissance of Kashmiri Paper Mache Art

Papier-mache art is a centuries-old craft that has been used for decorative purposes in various parts of the world, including the Middle East, Japan, China and India, and is now seeking rejuvenation across continents as the diaspora promotes this unique art. Art form. However, in Kashmir, it has evolved into a distinct art form that has been part of the region’s cultural heritage for centuries. Kashmiri papier-mâché items such as pen stands, coasters, jewelery boxes, vases, lamp shades, trays, photo frames and decorative bowls are in good demand within and outside Kashmir.

Papier-mâché, a century-old art form originating in Kashmir, derives its name from a French word meaning 'mash or chewed paper'.  (Wasim Andrabi / HT Photo)
Papier-mâché, a century-old art form originating in Kashmir, derives its name from a French word meaning ‘mash or chewed paper’. (Wasim Andrabi / HT Photo)

The influx of tourists to the region has helped promote Kashmiri crafts, and people associated with the craft are exploring their skills and gaining global recognition. The Kashmiri diaspora living in different parts of the world has also played an important role in the promotion of this unique art form. Many Kashmiri Americans, such as Dr. Kurat Andrabi of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dr. Ambreen Andrabi of Los Angeles, have been using papier-mâché objects to introduce their American friends and acquaintances to the Kashmiri way of life.

They have been cooking Kashmiri food, singing Kashmiri songs and dressing up in Kashmiri attire in gatherings to show the glory of Kashmiri culture. Social media platforms have also played an important role in promoting Kashmiri papier-mâché art. Syed Auqib Andrabi, another Kashmiri living in the US, emphasized the importance of using social media to keep this art from dying.

He believes that all Kashmiris, wherever they are, have a responsibility to promote and preserve this unique art form. But, despite the popularity of paper mache art, many artisans feel dissatisfied due to the lack of marketing of their products. d. Hassan Khan, a craftsman from Hasanabad in Srinagar, believes that although tourists love this art and it pays well, there is a lack of proper publicity and awareness.

He believes that the government will promote art in the country and the Nepalis abroad will also promote it. He believes that people related to art need the support of the government to overcome the financial challenges. Kashmiri papier-mâché art is a unique cultural heritage that is gaining global recognition through the efforts of both the diaspora and people associated with the craft.

The art form is not only beautiful but also functional, and has the potential to boost the local economy. However, lack of proper marketing and awareness is a critical challenge that needs to be addressed. With the support of the government and the diaspora, Kashmiri papier-mâché art can flourish and contribute to the region’s cultural and economic prosperity.

Papier-mache art has been used for centuries, but in Kashmir, it has evolved into a unique and distinct art form. This technique involves mixing paper pulp with glue and molding it into different shapes and designs. Kashmiri papier-mâché art is known for its intricate designs, vibrant colors, and the use of gold leaf to give it a unique shine.

The art form has been handed down from generation to generation, and many families in Kashmir have been associated with the craft for centuries. Artisans use a variety of tools, including brushes, spatulas, and knives, to shape the paper pulp into various forms. Once the design is complete, it is left to dry before being colored and decorated with gold leaf. Kashmiri papier-mâché art is a unique cultural heritage that is gaining global recognition through the efforts of both the diaspora and people associated with the craft. The art form is not only beautiful but also functional, and has the potential to boost the local economy.

However, lack of proper marketing and awareness is a critical challenge that needs to be addressed. With the support of the government and the diaspora, the Kashmiri paper mache art can flourish and contribute to the region’s cultural and economic prosperity. It is a symbol of Kashmir’s rich cultural heritage, and its rejuvenation and promotion can play an important role in preserving and promoting the region’s identity.

This story is published from the Wire Agency feed without modification to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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