Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar: A Kashmiri craftsman named Muhammad Yusuf Bhat is receiving sheer support and assistance from the government in order to keep centuries-old ‘Palhoor’ (traditional sleeper) alive in the Kashmir Valley.
According to the updates, craftsman Yusuf, who lives in Zanturg village in the Khario Pampore region, not only uses a straw to make the traditional shoes but also uses many other items, including patij (mats), cups and baskets to complete the final product.
The reports also said that the art was used by the native Kashmiri people during ancient times during the severe cold season in J&K.
During ancient times, When leather and plastic shoes were not available in the market or only well-to-do people were able to afford to wear such high-priced shoes, what was the footwear of the common people to protect their feet while walking on the road?
Meanwhile, walking in the snow during the winter was another difficult task during the old times. The fact is that Kashmiri people practised enough to walk even in severe cold and snow in the winter season while not even having leather and plastic boots to protect their feet.
Originally, the people of Kashmir invented shoes which were locally made up of wood and grass, which they had used in the past. Shoes made of wood were named kharab, and grass shoes were named Palhoor, which is a traditional name for footwear.
The reports confirmed that the Handicrafts Department of Jammu and Kashmir had come forward to help and taken up the task and initiative of reviving traditional household items and arts made from grass specifically.
The locals make palhoor in their homes, and along with this, they use grass straws to craft many other items like mats, covers for cups and baskets, which are handmade.
Bhat learned this art from his ancestors and thanked the department for its efforts and help to keep this traditional culture alive, as per the sources,
Mohammad Yusuf Butt says that they make mats from paddy grass. According to him, when modern products for furnishing were not available, people used to sit on the same grass mats in their homes. He said that a round mat was called “Changaj” while rectangular and large mats were called “Pataj”.
Director of the Industries and Crafts Department Mahmood Shah says that the industrial policy introduced in 2020 talks about promoting these traditional industries which are close to extinction. He said that the Kharkhanadar scheme was introduced to revive such dying industries.
He said that these things are now being made in the School of Design. Apart from this, factories are being run in Lake Dal and many other areas, which will help in promoting the extinct industries of Kashmir.