Lok Mela, folk festival of Pakistan organized by the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) at its aesthetically designed pavilion has put on display rich culture and traditional architecture of the land of sufi saints â€“ Sindh province famous for a wide range of folk crafts like lacquer art, farasi weaving, blue pottery, Sindhi embroidery, Ajrak, block printing, traditional carpet weaving, appliquÃ© work, tie-dye, khes weaving, wood works, Thari embroidery and several others.
The highlight of the mela is the Farasi weaving,a part of the traditional weaving of rugs with goat hair, camel hair and mixed yarn. These are woven in warp and weft on horizontal looms generally portraying geometric patterns.
The availability of raw materials and a rapidly increasing demand of the local market are greatly responsible for the sustenance of this craft. The two major centres of farasi weaving are Tharparkar and Jacobabad.
Parri a 70 year old woman, an established but poor master craftswoman in farasi weaving from Badin has expertise in this art of weaving, as the tradition of weaving runs in her family, she attained mastery in this field from her mother and other members of the family as she began weaving from childhood. She has been participating in Lok Mela for the last 25 years and has trained a number of women students in her native town.
The artisans who were seen displaying their craftsmanship included Faqeer Muhammad, Khadim Hussain, Abdul Hayee, Arbab and Rafique, Soleman, Bharat, Naeem, Qadir Bukhsh jani in blue pottery, Siani, Safia and Zahid in Khes weaving, Zaheeran and Abdul Ghafoor, Krishan Lal, Khan Chand, Bhawan, Naseem Sultan, Gheno, Krishan and Bhano and Ghulam Ahmed.
The 10-day Lok Mela will continue till Sunday April 20. The festival timings are 11am till 10pm. The pavilion will hold a cultural night on April 18 at 8pm at Lok Virsa Open Air Theatre which will be featuring artists such as Aman Mughal, Marwal Koro, Mahtab Kanwal, Kumber Brohi and others.
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