Small Town Keeps 5,000-Year-Old Ajrak Tradition Alive in Pakistan (Video)
Ajrak is a unique and traditional form of block-printed shawl or scarf that is indigenous to the Sindh region of Pakistan and parts of India. The art of Ajrak has been practiced for over 5,000 years and is deeply ingrained in the cultural heritage of the Sindhi people. The intricate designs and patterns of Ajrak reflect the natural elements of the region, such as the sun, moon, and stars. The craft requires a high level of skill and patience, as the traditional process of creating Ajrak involves several stages of washing, dyeing, and printing. Despite the challenges posed by modern technology and cheap imitations flooding the market, artisans like Imran Soomro are determined to preserve the traditional craft of Ajrak and pass it down to future generations.
Bhit Shah, a small town in Pakistan, is home to many families who have been practicing the art of Ajrak for generations. The community has come together to establish a center where visitors can learn about the history and production process of Ajrak, and artisans can showcase their skills and sell their creations. Through their efforts, the people of Bhit Shah are not only preserving their cultural heritage but also creating economic opportunities for their community. The art of Ajrak is not just a craft but a way of life for the people of Bhit Shah, and their dedication to keeping the tradition alive is truly inspiring.
Top image: Ajrak block-printing in Pakistan. Source: fahadee / Adobe Stock