After getting the Geographical Indications (GI) for the famous Kashmiri Pashmina,the state government is now applying for the GI registration of the Khatumbandh ,Walnut wood carving,Paper mache,Namda (Kashmiri rug) and Pinjarkari (lattice work ) to get their unique Kashmiri origin recognized at the international level and prevent faking by traders outside Kashmir.
Sources said that this is being done to check the sale of the products outside Kashmir under similar names,due to which the customers get duped and Kashmiri traders also have to bear the losses.
Sources in the Craft Development Institute (CDI) Kashmir revealed that the state government will file the applications for their registration under GI with in a month or so. These days,authorities are collecting research material and supporting documents,which are submitted with the application.
CDI director MS Shariq told The Indian Express that to get the geographical uniqueness of Khatumbandh ,Walnut wood carving,Paper mache,Namda (Kashmir rug) and Pinjarkari (lattice work ) recognized at the international level,they will be filing the applications with in a month or so,adding that presently the supporting research material is being collected.
Divisional Kashmir Jammu Pawan Kotwal,who was the Secretary Industries when the process was moved,said that after the Pashmina was awarded GI in last September,they thought of getting other community based unique crafts registered under the GI so that their uniqueness is recognized and nobody misuses their brand names for selling their own products. He said that these artistic products and traditions are unique to the people of Kashmir and as such they needed be recognized and protected.
Geographical Indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin. GI acts as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities due to its geographical origin. With the increased internationalization of trade,GIs have become a key source of niche marketing and protecting local knowledge and community rights.
Experts say that all these artistic products and traditions are community based which have developed over centuries with older generation passing their crafts to the younger generation.
Last year in September the state government succeeded in getting the GI registered for the Pashmina,which will help the authorities to check sale of fake pashmina shawls.
The patent followed after an agreement among Kashmir Handmade Pashmina Promotion Trust (KHPPT),Wildlife Trust of India (WTI),Crafts Development Institute (CDI) and the Tahafuz,a society of diverse Kashmiri handicraft artisans. Sources said that the GI for pashmina was recommended earlier in 2001 by Wildlife Trust of India and the International Fund for Animal Welfare after they conducted a census of shahtoosh workers in the valley.
The following are small descriptions of these arts
Khatumbandh: Khatumbandh is an art of making ceiling,by tilling small pieces of wood (preferably walnut or deodar wood) into each other in geometrical patterns,done entirely by hand without the use of nails. The uniqueness of this art is that when the ceiling is complete,it acquires a unique geometrical pattern.
Walnut carving: As Walnut is a soft wood,craftsmen do fine carving on walnut wood. There are two types of walnut trees,one is the fruit bearing whose wood is well known,and the other which bears no fruits,locally known as ‘zangul’,is less strong. With artists carving vine leaves,Chinar leaves and flowers like lotus and roses,the walnut carving has created unique niche for itself.
Namdhas: Namdhas are soft texture rugs made of felt and are used for floor covering. These are beautifully embroidered with coloured woollen threads that are crafted having the floral,folksy and geometrical designs.
Paper Mache: After paper has been pounded to pulp and gets smoothest finish in the final product using adhesives,various designs are painted on objects of Papier Mache,which come in various colours and sizes.
Lattice work: Fine lattice work called Pinjarkari generally encloses the balconies and windows in Kashmiri houses. Wood craft in Kashmir flourished from the 11th century onwards when the people were allowed to freely procure wood from the forests.