Srinagar: From beds to dining tables, Muneer Ahmad Mattoo has been carving amazing patterns of walnut wood for over four decades now.
Though one can find quite a few walnut wood carvers in Kashmir, the Mattoo family is counted among the pioneers in the field.
Muneer learnt the craft from his forefathers and his walnut wood carving unit near Arampora, Nawakadal in the old city is known for producing one of the finest products especially dining tables and beds.
“Both my father as well as grandfather were into walnut wood carving and I have personally been in this business for 40 years. I have two brothers and they too do walnut wood carving. We make dining tables, beds, corner tables, chairs, sofa sets, study tables, etc. A total of 15 workers work at my Arampora unit,” Muneer told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said they had witnessed an increased demand for products like dining and study tables and the government should organize more exhibitions for them.
“A few years back there was not much demand for dining tables and study tables but now many want these items. There should be better marketing and the government should organize more exhibitions for us so that we can get better prices and sell our products directly. Right now, we sell to the showrooms and we do not get the desired prices,” he said.
An official of the Handicrafts Department, Kashmir said the Mattoo family was counted among the pioneers of walnut wood carving. He also said they were known for carving amazing patterns.
“Muneer Ahmad Mattoo is regarded as a pioneer in the field of wood carving. He has devoted the past 40 years to the craft. He carved some amazing patterns on the walnut wood thus separating himself from many individuals in this trade. The method was handed down to Muneer by his forefathers, who have been involved in the business for over a hundred years. He is known for making amazing dining tables and he uses naturally aged walnut wood,” the official said.
Mattoo’s wood carving unit has also been included in the Nallah Mar edition of the Srinagar Craft Safari. The craft safaris were started by the Handicrafts Department after Srinagar made it to the coveted list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Crafts and Folk Arts Category for the year 2021.