Aziz-ul Rehman: Kashmir’s Bone Carving Artist
31 August, 2022 | Simran Turak
22-year-old Aziz-ul Rehman, a teenager from Srinagar’s Gulab Bagh district, is the first in Jammu and Kashmir to have mastered the technique of carving animal bones into various decorative it...
22-year-old Aziz-ul Rehman, a teenager from Srinagar’s Gulab Bagh district, is the first in Jammu and Kashmir to have mastered the technique of carving animal bones into various decorative items.
Aziz’s handcrafted bone decorations are getting popular on social media, and many enthusiasts have purchased them.
Aziz, who is studying in the Department of Fisheries, was inspired by social media videos of such arts, and during the COVID lockdown, he routinely painted different sorts of pictures on the bones to make them into pieces of art. He has gradually learned the skill of bone carving. For background, bone crafting is the art of creating various items out of animal bones. This type of art activity is unique in Kashmir.
This art’s traditional focus is on finer design elements like as embroidery, Kani weaving, and carpet weaving. Working with bone and wood to create unique items is a passion for Aziz-ul Rehman.
Aziz recalled a childhood incident in which he became fascinated with cutting objects out of leftover bones after seeing his mother prepare harissa (a meat delicacy in Kashmir consumed in winters.)
“During one Eid-ul-Adha back in my childhood, my mother prepared Harissa with the sacrificial meat that people would give. While making Harissa, you have to boil the meat at such a level that large chunks of meat fall off the bones. When my mother discarded the bones, I took one large bone and carved a knife out of it. I made a small pendant kind of knife and showed it to everyone with a child’s excitement. Everyone liked it,” he said. “I was quite happy and fascinated with what I had done. I still am,” he said.