Namdah carpet famous kashmir carpet - kashmiri life

The Magic Of Numdah Carpets

Just as the long-revered beauty of Kashmir, the bright orange, brown, red, gold, and yellow scattered leaves on the country roads gives a warm welcome to travelers from all over the world, a brief gaze at a beautiful Numdah carpet is also enough to bring out the art of poetry.

From the spell bound beauty of the valley to its traditional art forms to rich cuisines, the land of poetry, Kashmir, has a multi-faceted soul.

Namdah carpet famous kashmir carpet - kashmiri life

In India carpet weaving first travelled to Kashmir in the late 15th century (600yrs to 700yrs) from Iran along with a Sufi Saint, ‘Amir Shah-el-Hamdan’.

Technique

The valley of Kashmir offers a range of floor covering. Likewise, the hand-made Numdah carpet from Kashmir, a tradition inherited and passed on over 500 yrs. The technique of Numdah art was inherited and inspired by their ancestors from Iran. Mostly Numdah carpets the floor of Kashmiri homes during winter and the bright colors & designs turn your home into a place of warmth.

Namdah carpet famous kashmir carpet - kashmiri life

Numdah involves the craft of making carpets by felting. These colorful hand felted carpets from Kashmir are made out of unspun wool and cotton, in certain proportions, or entirely of 100% wool. The felt decorations are seamlessly layered with the base without a stitch. They not only brighten up your spaces but also feel soft and warm below your feet.
The technique requires taking unspun wool and pounding it with water and soap multiple times until a flat base of wool is achieved. They then sketch the pattern on to the Numdah rug base. The bold patterns and rich muti-coloured designs often depicting nature are then embroidered with a hook. The sizes usually range from 2’x3′ to 6’x9′ in square, rectangular, round and oval shapes.

Namdah carpet famous kashmir carpet - kashmiri life
The felted carpets are predominately made of pure sheep wool. The sheep wool ‘kat yer’ required for this technique is locally bought from Badgam, Pahalgam as these regions have been inhabited by shepherds and Naushera (where the Govt. House for wool distribution is stationed).

These Numdahs are generally sold through ‘Craft Bazaars in Kashmir’.

It continues to be one of the prime occupations and the main source of livelihood of many people of the valley even to this day. But this craft making seeks a whole lot of physical strength and the remunerations are hardly comparable. This is the reason that the art form is fading with time and a handful of people are recently left to make Numdah.

Reviving The Art

But 29 year old Arifa Jan from Kashmir has taken up the daunting task to revamp this 11th century rug making technique, Numdah, which is indigenous to the valley.
“I had no interest in a government job. I always wanted to have my own business.”~Arifa
Even after facing a lot of challenges at every step, her love for the craft and the zeal to take it ahead has inspired many around her.

Just as no one can stop the beauty of nature from spreading slowly into the eyes of the beholder, no matter the circumstance you cannot stop the power of art to travel far and wide. We completely appreciate the enterprising spirit of the Kashmiri craftsman and today’s youth who have struggled to keep the art alive, while himself being surrounded with negative situations.

If you want to be a proud owner of the beautiful handmade rug, you could try out these website: www.IndiaMart.com

Dances-Of-Kashmir - kashmiri life

Famous Folk Dance forms of Kashmir

The city of Jammu and Kashmir reflects its myriad culture in a beautiful amalgamation of religion, festivals, food, art, crafts, dance and music. Amidst Kashmir’s rich scenic beauty lie its traditional dance forms.

The city is dyed with vibrant hues of its peculiar beauty and its rich traditions. The traditional folk dance preserved by the locals reflects the rustic vigor of the lifestyle of its people. The Folklore of Kashmir is deeply rooted in life of the local people and their passion is reflected in every performance ensuring that such ethos is not lost to future generations.

Get an inside look in the various traditional dance forms of Kashmir:

1. Rouf Dance

Rouf Dance - kashmir - kashmir life
One of the most popular traditional spring time dance of Kashmir is Rouf. This beautiful dance form is usually performed during all the festive occasions, especially during Id and Ramadan days. The dance is performed by a group of women lined up facing each other. The simple yet intricate footwork of Rouf, termed as Chakri in local dialect, is creative therapy as well as an artistic treat.

2. Bhand Pather

Bhand Pather - kashmir - kashmir life

 

Bhand Pather is a fading traditional folk art which is performed in theatres of Kashmir, usually performed in social and cultural functions. It makes a powerful combination of satirical and realistic drama, portraying social traditions and evils.

3. Bhand Jashan

 

Bhand Jashan | Kashmir| kashmir life

Bhand Jashan is another one of the Kashmiri folk dances. A very simple yet attractive dance performed by a group of artists putting on gestures of a clown (Bhand), along with some light music.

4. Bacha Nagma

Bacha Nagma - kashmir - kashmir life

This is one of the major folk dance form where young boys of Kashmir perform, particularly during the harvest season. One of the young boys dresses up as a female dancer, performing in a stage where the music used is quite loud. Dancers clad themselves in rich colorful costumes and move with a lot of grace. The Bacha Nagma dance originated a lot of years ago and is still very much recognized as a popular form of folk dance.

5. Hafiza Dance

Hafiza Dance - kashmir - kashmir life

Hafiza Dance is a popular Kashmiri dance type, performed during wedding ceremonies. The Hafiza dance form is dominated by a popular instrument called the ‘Santoor’.

There is a dire need for preserving and properly promoting the traditional dance forms which will give the local artists a professional platform to present their talent. Dance is a powerful form of communication that helps people get an insight into the rustic lifestyle, the attires, musical instruments and other practices and parts of customs prevalent in a place.