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May 30, 2017

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Islamabad hosts melting pot of ethnic craft

Pakistan's culture and society have been significantly influenced by diverse ethnic groups living in the country. Punjabis, Kashmiris, Sindhis, Balochis, Siraikis, Pakhtuns and Muhajirs have all contributed to the country's cultural heritage and art over many decades.

Various regions in the neighborhood have also greatly influenced art in Pakistan. Notable of them include the Persian Empire along with the Afghan and Mughal empires.

The colonial regime, more popularly known as British Raj, also impacted the forms of fine arts in the country.

However, over the decades and various influences, one thing which still remains consistent in Pakistani art is vibrant colors. Bright colors have always been the major attraction and, hence, it is no surprise that local crafts and clothing all consist of a wide spectrum of colors.

Over the years, ethnic art and crafts have gained popularity on such a large scale that they have now moved onto objects and clothes.

The cultural art has not lost its true essence with time. It has rather matured and become popular worldwide, thus becoming a good business strategy for a lot of common people.

Having been spread at such a vast perimeter, the skills of the local people are being put to use in mass production earning appreciation and an employment boost.

Dawn looks into the popular trend and photographs some hand-painted items of Bina Ali, a fine art graduate from National College of Arts, who has been promoting an array of exclusive furniture with intricate hand-painted tile inlay, artifacts and jewelry since 1995, and of Anjum Rana, who has earned reputation for tribal truck art.

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