Focus: GS I: Culture
Why in News?
Recently, the Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship flagged off the first batch of Namda Art products for export to the United Kingdom (UK).
Origins of Namda Art:
- The art of Namda is believed to have originated in the 16th century when Mughal Emperor Akbar sought a covering to protect his horses from the cold.
- It was introduced to the people of Kashmir by a Sufi saint named Shah-e-Hamdan.
Characteristics of Namda Art:
- Namda is a traditional Kashmiri craft that involves creating felted carpets using sheep wool.
- Unlike woven carpets, Namda is made by felting wool, resulting in a distinct texture and appearance.
- Multiple layers of wool are sandwiched together and pressed using a tool called ‘pinjra’, which is made of woven willow wicker.
- The wool layers are sprinkled with water to aid in the felting process.
Design and Patterns:
- Namda art showcases unique themes and floral patterns.
- The designs often incorporate elements such as flowers, leaves, buds, and fruits.
- Colourful hand embroidery is a prominent feature of Namda carpets.
Presence in Various Cultures:
- Namda is not limited to Kashmir alone and is practiced as a craft in several cultures.
- It is found in countries throughout Asia, including Iran, Afghanistan, and India.
- In summary, Namda art has a rich history dating back to the Mughal era and is known for its felting technique, vibrant designs, and cultural significance across different regions.