02 August, 2021

A Cocoon Embroidered

High amidst the Karakoram, the Hunza Valley evolved its unique way of life, with crafts deeply embedded within. Their pricelessness is shown herein.

Photograph by Getty Images
A Cocoon Embroidered

No country is more stereotyped by Indians than Pakistan—whe­ther as a nostalgically remembered cricket and Bollywood-­loving mirror-image of ourselves, or the demonic, Ind­ia-hating, fanatical state favoured by TV anchors. It is often forgotten that Pakistan is alm­ost as culturally and socially varied as us; its diverse regions and communities each reflecting its own identity, art forms and way of life. The remote tri-bal areas of Balochistan, Swat, Hazara, Gilgit and PoK are often overlooked, overshadowed by Punjabis and immigrant Mohajirs who have dominated post-Partition political discourse.

It is heartening therefore to have a book on the arts and crafts of the Hunza Valley, though it has a rather clunky title—The Arts & Crafts of the Hunza Valley in Paki­stan, Living Traditions in the Karakoram doesn’t exactly have bookshelf appeal! Its author, Jurgen Wasim Frembgen, is adju­nct professor of Anthropology and Isla­mic Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Mun­ich, with a particular int­erest in...

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