KP’s cultural heritage and art forms on death-bed


PESHAWAR – The centuries-old cultural skills of wood carving, stone carving, lacquer art, embroidery, metal art, pottery-making, taghar work and calligraphy were vanishing due to the government’s lack of regard towards the artisans and skilled people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said the artisans while demanding the government to take steps for the improvement of the ancient Pakhtun cultural skills in the province.
A survey conducted by Pakistan Today at the “Artisan Fair” conducted by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture Department in Nishtar Hall, Peshawar revealed that most people associated with various skills were in a melancholy situation owing to the passive attitude of the government towards their centuries-old skills. The participants said that the government’s lack of interest in their work was causing them to live hands-to-mouth.
Farhat Bibi, a lacquer art master belonging to Dera Ismail Khan told her family was associated with the art-from since the last 150 years but now, due to a lack of government’s assistance, the art was vanishing on the surface. The artisans were also abandoning the art because inflation had made it non-rewarding. Sham Ur Iqbal, a dweller of Swat specialised in calligraphy on stone and dry vegetable said he desired to impart the skill to other people but government’s sheer ignorance had made it impossible.
The future of calligraphy was dark, he added.Metal art involving ornaments, a legacy of royal families in the sub continent, was also suffering from the pessimistic attitude of the government. Such attitude disheartened the associated artisans, consequently reducing their number, said Shehzad a metal master. The artisans said that the government’s passive eye towards them and their art was perishing various art-forms in the country. The officials had no regard of the artists and the natural talented people and were hence doing nothing for their uplift, they added.