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Saima Shafi of Srinagar is Reviving the Art of Pottery

A day in the pottery studio of Saima who is reviving the art of pottery.

“Kraal is the artist and I am proud to be called as ‘Kraal Koor’- says Saima.

Potters are recognised globally very well as per Saima Shafi, an engineer by profession who upon her return home from her work becomes a potter. Saima learned pottery from Bangalore in 2016.

The demand for the utensils made from clay has seen a major downward trend in the past decades in Kashmir. The people associated with pottery in Kashmir are known as ‘Kraal’ or Kumhar, however, due to the introduction of metalware in Kashmiri kitchens the demand for earthenware reduced to a very large extent. In most cases, earthen pot is used now only in Kangri (clay pot) which Kashmiris use during the harsh winter as a mobile heater to keep themselves warm. The Kumhars or Kraal community has lived on the lowest economic and social side of Kashmiri society for ages. With less or no land holdings the potters have struggled in the quest for social and economic upliftment.

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