Steps urged to revive Chitral's traditional crafts
CHITRAL, April 20: In an effort to promote and preserve the cultural craft of indigenous people of Chitral, an exhibition was held in a local hotel.
Senior artisans and skilled people displayed their handmade earthen and wooden wares and old ornaments which the organizers said were disappearing gradually. The exhibition was organized by the Research Planning and Development Organization Chitral in collaboration with the Division of Economics and Social Development (DESA) and United Nations Fund for Indigenous People.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman RPDOC Professor Rahmat Karim Baig said Chitral’s indigenous and old culture was dying out and most of the wooden and earthen handmade ornaments and appliances were also getting out of use. He said for the preservation of our culture and indigenous skills, his organization trained 20 people on the skills to make earthen ware while another group of 20 people were trained in wooden ware and ornaments. Besides, 20 women were imparted training in indigenous carpet making. These newly trained people also put their handmade items on the exhibition.
Professor Mumtaz Hussain, who is also an expert on Chitrali culture, said most of our precious cultural heritage and handmade items were disappearing. Our new generation is not aware about these old and indigenous cultural heritages. It has put negative aspects on our culture.
Professor Ghaniur Rehman said the extinction of these indigenous earthen, wooden and handmade wares and ornaments was not only disturbing our eco-system but also leaving a negative impact on our socio-economics status. Most of the artists and skilled persons remained jobless and the RPDOC was trying to motivate young people to get training in making handmade earthen and wooden items to be used daily life.
Abdul Nasir, the president of Human Rights Chitral chapter, said Chitral was inhabited mostly by the indigenous people where the local culture was still intact despite several difficulties. A woman from Drosh on the occasion said the training had help them improve their economic conditions.
Environment activist Rahmat Ali Jafar Dost and other speakers appreciated the holding of the exhibition and termed it an environmental friendly move. A large number of local artists, skilled persons and women participated in the exhibition.