Afghan Hand-Carved Hardwood Ornaments
Beautifully rustic disks of walnut hardwood -- carved by hand in Afghanistan -- bring a sense of global consciousness to your holiday decorating. Made at a school designed to preserve traditional crafts such as woodworking, calligraphy, and ceramics, each elegantly carved ornament is individually signed by the artisan and comes with a gold organza ribbon for hanging.
Available in your choice of four designs:
- Flower features a Nuristani flower motif.
- Peace reads solha which means "Peace" in Duri, the local dialect.
- Star features a Nuristani star motif.
- Love reads mababat which means "Love" in Duri, the local dialect.
Choose a single ornament for $14.95, or a mixed set of any two for only $24.95. Each measures approximately 3" dia. (7.6 cm). Handmade in and fairly traded from Afghanistan.
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Artisan: Nuristani Woodworking Artisans
The dramatic peaks and valleys of northeastern Afghanistan are home to the province of Nuristan, whose mountains and rich forests have nurtured a long tradition of intricate and beautiful woodcarving. The Nuristani woodworking tradition employs the simplest of materials: high quality walnut and Himalayan cedar wood, basic tools, the experienced hands of master craftsmen, and the folk memory of hundreds of traditional designs which are endlessly reconfigured and re-interpreted. Each piece is a unique symbiosis of material, master and motif. No screws and nails are ever used, even when a piece contains dozens of separate elements. A tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation, Nuristani woodworking suffered and nearly died out during Afghanistan's decades of war. But thanks to masters like Abdul Adi who train new carvers, this longstanding tradition has found new life in Kabul and Nuristan.
Artisan Abdul Adi
75 year-old Ustad (Master) Abdul Adi comes from a long line of woodcarvers, and finds great joy in teaching Nuristani classical carving to others. As a boy, he worked in his father's shop on Koche Najarah, the woodcarvers' street, learning skills that had been passed from father to son for generations.
The father of eight, Ustad Adi has lost two sons, his wife, and one daughter to war and disease. Today, he lives with his son and five grandchildren, some of whom he is teaching to carve. Ustad Adi also teachers other students through a local woodcarving cooperative, and hopes that they will someday be Ustads themselves. "I become happy when every student learns something new," he says. "As you see, I am getting old, I am here to teach this craft so it does not disappear. This is the most important thing for the future of Afghanistan."
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