Srinagar: Master-craftsman Mohammad Yusuf Muran from Narwara cannot speak or hear, but his walnut wood carvings sell for up to Rs. 30 lakh in the market.
Muran’s family has been in the business of walnut wood carving for around 200 years now and he has breathed a new life in the dying art of walnut wood carving.
Walnut wood carving a dying art
“For the past 200 years, our family has been in the business of wood carving. He (Mohammad Yusuf Muran) has been carving walnut wood right from his childhood and you will not find a master-craftsman like him as it is a dying art in Kashmir. He carves with great accuracy and perfection,” the master-craftsman’s nephew Mudasir Muran told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said all products were made from a single piece of walnut wood and their products were priceless.
Muran’s carvings sell for up to Rs. 30 lakh
“All are made from a single piece of wood. Our products are priceless and we at ‘Paradise Wood House’ have some exclusive products. It is a time-consuming process and making some pieces can take two to three years to make. It is a super luxury craft and can fetch a price of Rs. 30 lakh, Rs 20 lakh or Rs 5 lakh depending on the particular piece,” he said.
Artisans hopeful UNESCO tag will revive the art
Muran said they were hopeful that the UNESCO tag for Srinagar city would give a boost to the dying art of walnut wood carving..
“We had no platform to showcase our products but now we are happy that the Handicrafts Department is approaching us. We are hopeful that the UNESCO tag for Srinagar will help in reviving the dying art of walnut wood carving,” he said.
Srinagar had recently 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.
Srinagar Crafts Safari aimed to boost handicrafts sector
Director, Handicrafts and Handloom, Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah said they had started the Srinagar Craft Safari as part of efforts to give a boost to the handicrafts sector.
“We have started the Srinagar Craft Safari in different parts of old Srinagar city so that the people come to know about the rich handicraft products. Through the safari, people will also meet the artisans and see how different handicraft products are made,” Shah told The Kashmir Monitor.
The second chapter of the Srinagar Crafts Safari was held on Saturday through Eidgah, Narwara, Makarpora, and Kawdara areas of downtown.
Srinagar sixth Indian city on UNESCO list
This year, Srinagar’s application was forwarded to UNESCO on June 29 by the Government of India (GoI) and now this nomination is the global recognition to the rich craft legacy of Srinagar. Pertinently, the dossier for nomination for Srinagar as a creative city was first filed by Srinagar in 2019. However, only two cities – Hyderabad for Gastronomy and Mumbai for Film were chosen that year. Prior to 2019, only three Indian cities had been recognized as members of creative cities – Jaipur (Crafts and Folk Arts) in 2015, Varanasi (Creative city of Music) in 2015, and Chennai (Creative city of Music) in 2017.