Walnut Wood Carving of Kashmir

Walnut Wood Carving of Kashmir

Unique to Kashmir due to the large numbers of walnut tree /Junglas regia groves this craft exemplifies the finesse of craftsmanship. Locally known as dun or akhrod, the pattern is first etched on to the wood by the naqqash, master carver, and then the carving commences with those areas that are not part of the design being removed with the help of a range of chisels and a wooden mallet. Several carving technique are employed including deep etching of two inches that is usually used for complex dragon and flower motifs; half inch shallow carving used for all over flat surfaces; open or lattice work carving usually picturing the chinar leaf motif; and the semi-carved technique wherin a fine border encloses an intricately carved central motif with the grain of the wood polished as part of the design. While used earlier in the building trade with wall panels, doors and windows with elaborate walnut carvings to be glimpsed across Kashmir in traditional homes, shrines and mausoleums like the shrines of Noor-ud-din-Wali at Charar-e-Sharif, the Naqshaband mosque and the shrine of Nund Rishi; the craft for contemporary markets includes boxes, trays ladles, bowls, etc.

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