As wedding season picks up, Kashmiri Musical instrument “Tumbaknari” is in huge demand


Srinagar, June 2 (UNI) With the marriage season gaining momentum, the demand for an age-old backed clay musical instrument called ‘Tumbaknari’ is on the climax keeping the potters busy day and night to meet the order.

The 28-year-old Mohammad Umar Kumar spending all his day making age-old backed clay musical instrument “Tumbaknari” on his electrical wheel at his Nishat unit in Srinagar to complete the order of one thousand pieces to be supplied to south Kashmir’s Kulgam district and Sopore township in north Kashmir and other districts of the valley.

A commerce graduate, Umar who hit the headlines couple of years ago across the globe by claiming that his hand-made glazed pots made of clay are hygienic as compared to the machine-made items from China and America.

His clay made traditional tea pot or “Samovar” was displayed during the recently conducted G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex (SKICC) where a craft centre was established for the delegates to go through.

Umar worked enthusiastically to meet the deadline of supplying the famous Kashmiri musical instrument “Tumbaknari” order to its customers presently.

The age-old musical instrument native to Jammu and Kashmir, the “Tumbaknari” is an earthen shape used for singing in every Kashmiri function especially during the weddings, with its roots believed to stretch far back into Iran or Central Asia.

“It takes three days to complete100 pieces of musical instruments fully,” Kumar told UNI.

Umar has big dreams for the pottery industry in the Kashmir Valley. He is making every effort to

give it a new lease of life and bring it at par with modern times so that Kashmiri hand-made pottery could find its customers all around.

He gets big orders from dealers almost all through the year who are selling them in the market after covering one side of the instrument with leather. A big “Tumbakhnari” costs Rs 250 and small Rs 150 in the market.

Umar said that a special kind of earth was brought from the Central Kashmir’s Budgam district for making the clay instrument. This kind of clay cannot be used in growing vegetables or making houses, he added.

However, he said the government now has banned excavating the clay from the area which could cause the shadow on this traditional business. He urged the government to allow excavating the earth so that this tradition could continue to earn livelihood.



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