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Potter Sidiq chose to make Kashmiri musical instrument Tumbaknari to earn livelihood

SRINAGAR,: Mohammad Sidiq, a Kashmiri potter from Brain area of Srinagar making traditional musical instrument “Tambaknari” made from clay which is used in weddings and other happy occasions in the Kashmir valley.
SRINAGAR,: Mohammad Sidiq, a Kashmiri potter from Brain area of Srinagar making traditional musical instrument “Tambaknari” made from clay which is used in weddings and other happy occasions in the Kashmir valley.
Recalling the days Sidiq said, “We were getting big orders from Kashmiri pandits for making earthen plates and utensils which they were using during the marriage ceremony. But after their exodus from the valley this traditional business suffered tremendously”.

Srinagar: 51-year-old Potter Mohammad Sidiq spending all his day making age-old backed clay Kashmiri musical instrument Tumbaknari on an electric wheel to earn his livelihood.

The age-old musical instrument native to Jammu and Kashmir, the Tumbaknari is an earthen shape used for singing in every Kashmiri function especially during the weddings, with its roots believed to stretch far back into Iran or Central Asia.

Sidiq who could not continue his studies beyond the 10th standard due to poverty,  making at least 50 Tumbaknari’s a day at his Brain Srinagar workshop near the house enables him to earn the livelihood to feed his family.

He gets big orders from dealers almost all through the year who are selling them in the market after covering one side of the instrument with leather. A big Tumbakhnari costs Rs 250 and small Rs 150 in the market.

Sidiq said that a special kind of earth was brought from the Central Kashmir’s Budgam district for making the clay instrument. This kind of clay cannot be used in growing vegetables or making houses, he added.

However, he said the government now has banned excavating the clay from the area which could cause the shadow on this traditional business. He urged the government to allow excavating the earth so that this tradition could continue to earn livelihood.

Recalling the days Sidiq said, “We were getting big orders from Kashmiri pandits for making earthen plates and utensils which they were using during the marriage ceremony. But after their exodus from the valley this traditional business suffered tremendously”.

Sidiq said, even orders for making flower pots was once a big business for him, but said that too has now declined.

However, he remains all day busy in making the musical instrument of Tumbakhnari happily, he added.

Sidiq said “I often get orders for other pottery items, but due to being preoccupied in making Tumbakhnari items I reject them even sometimes with a good offer”.

He said, “My children are not interested in making the clay pots even though I request them to learn to keep this traditional business alive”.

He was all praise to the Jammu and Kashmir government for providing electric wheel for making the clay pots. Earlier an earthen made, locally known as “Czratt” was being used by the potters.

 

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