Death of the Craft

By Wajid Ali


Although there were so many things (Trade, Culture, Costumes, Crops, Handicrafts, Music and Tourism etc.) to be researched in Hunza valley.

There were a series of workshops and briefings about the resettlements of Atta Abad IDP’s and about the formation of the Atta Abad Lake. (In a very short time)

But I mainly focused on the Handicrafts of Hunza Valley.

When I started to research on Handicrafts, there were so many questions that came to mind.

E.g: What are their Traditional Crafts and why they are not making them now? And what the main reasons to craft utilitarian goods?


Handicrafts (commonly seen)






– Wood              (Juniper, Apricot, Russian olive, Poplar, Walnut, Mulberry, Weeping Willow etc.)

– Stones             (Ruby, Sapphire, Spinal Ruby, Aqua Marine, Emerald, Agate, Turquoise, Lapiz Lazuli, Peridot, Tourmaline, Topaz, Quartz, Garnet, Amethyst, Jade.)

– Metals             (Iron, Copper, Bronze)


Utilitarian Items

Carvings:        If we focus on the carvings on utilitarian item, they are decreasing.

Their designs are not handy.

They are making these products just for the sake of their survival.

Shawls:          Shawls are being import from different regions of the country.

Customs:        influences from trade route. They don’t have time to work, they are psychologically disturbed. These things should come in their designs. Then, they can come out of this state.



Importance of this Craft in the Region

Every settler of Hunza Valley needs to work for the     Revival of the disappearing crafts.


Need:             to fulfill their needs only?

Desire:           to gain capital?

It was a great day in wood workshop (established by the Norwegian Government) with students, who are learning design and skills as carpenters.

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They are working on different product mainly: chairs, doors, frames, tables, door panels, windows, frames, beds, cupboards, bookshelves, racks, stools, staircases etc.

They use different kind of woods for different products. But I was little disappointed to know that they are wasting 40% of the wood while they produce these mentioned products.


So I have suggestions for the reuse of this 40% wastage.

This 40% wood can be used for the decorative items like: lamps, trophies, souvenirs, toys, cooking sets, plates, ash trays, candle stands, wooden key chains and many other things.

By doing this we can generate more revenue for the betterment of IDP’s and for local community as well.