Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Fine art of skin painting

Art seems to have been important to almost all human societies since before recorded history. Art expressions have been, and still are, used to record, to explain, to interpret, to predict, to gain awareness, and to express those things cultures find important,” wrote by Turner Rogers, an associate professor of art education at the University of South Alabama.

This assertion is truer in case of Pakistan where some of the medieval arts have originated, and have not only been preserved but are practiced till date. The history of Pakistani arts and crafts – Kashi work, painting of skin, woodworks and painting on wood items -- goes back to medieval period.

Among the various arts that are practiced in Pakistan, skin painting has attained a higher state of refinement and Pakistan is famous this art around the world. The use of foliage or branches and leaves of trees and superb richness of colours (mainly blue) in skin painting is an evidence of Persian influence. As Persian arts themselves have been under Chinese Mongol influence, therefore some historians are of the view that skin painting had originally come from Kashghar China. Over a period of centuries Pakistani work has matured and developed a unique and distinctive style of its own. The finest quality work is done on the camel skin in southern Punjab (Multan, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan) and several products are exported.

The tedious technique of shaping the camel skin crafts and decorating them with indegenously prepared lacquer colours is an age old tradition that has withstood the test of time. This is a part of our ancient cultural heritage and needs to be preserved. Not only that, there is always a room to bring into the art new innovations, endow it with fresh spirit and set the science as its guide. The range of possibilities in the field of ceramics is very vast. The whole world is there to appreciate the work.

How to preserve the craft for our next generations?

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 12:00 AM,

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