Punjab is the land of five rivers, it is the most important province of Pakistan. It consist of 8 divisions and 28 districts. Its population is about 70 Million. It is bordered by the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan. It is the only province which touches the borders of all the federated units of Pakistan.
Language: Punjabi is an important language in Pakistan. It is even spoken and understood in areas beyond the confines of Punjab. It is used as the vehicle of common expression. Punjabi is a very rich language. Particularly it is rich in mystical and romantic poetry. The poetic work such as Heer Ranjha by Waris Shah, Saif Maluk by Mian Muhammad Baksh, Yousaf by Maulvi Abdus - Sattar and Maulvi Ghulam Rasul are considered to be the classics of the Punjabi language.
Dress: A great variety of dresses are worn by the Punjabi’s . National dress is attaining popularity. The typical Punjabi still wear dhoti and turban. Hukka is his constant companion. Khussa with dhoti and turban, most of the Punjabi’s wear khussa. It is the traditional shoe which Punjabi’s wear in routine life and in the marriage functions.
Food: Punjabi’s are fond of many things. They usually like to eat saag and makai ki rotee, Dal Chawal, Biryani, and many other things. In marriage ceremonies mutton curry with rotee is served to baratees. Then tea is served. In summer, at noon, they usually drink lussee, in break fast, they eat butter with naan or parathea.
Sports: Punjabi’s are fond of kabaddi and wrestling. Kabaddi and wrestling is very popular in Punjab and also in other parts of Pakistan. It is also played on national level.
Folk and Dances: Punjabi’s passionately loves folk tales and songs. The known legends of Sassi- Punnu, Sohni- Mahiwal and Heer-Ranjha are a great source of amusement for them, Punjabi dances- luddi and bhangra also provide great amusement and happiness for them.
Punjab is the land of many crafts and here each art enjoys a place all its own. Here we see countless gems of such skill and notability that their fame is world wide. Of the crafts we would name.
Folk women from Punjab are engaged all over the province in the creation of beautiful basketry work. Chaj, changair, mats and rugs of all kinds are woven for the use of people. Basketry of Pakistan is famous for its art and its artistry all over the world. Books racks, tiffin baskets, waste paper baskets and other artistic pieces are notable items in the basketry range.
The forts of Pakistan are living example of the stone craft of the land. The sculpture in red stone and marble is the most that impresses the tourist. The Lahore Forts, the Shalimar Gardens,
the Badshahi Mosque, the Emblems and figures in many other forts, citadels and regions are expressive of the stone craft legacy of our land. The old Buddhist sculpture in the Punjab is a memory of a distant past keeping alive a modern age. Taxila too boasts of unique specimens in sculpture. Lahore and Chiniot are famous for the production of very exquisite and delicate wood curios.
The weaver of the Punjab is looked upon with great love and admiration because he is the textile factory of his region. The cloth he weaves, the hand woven Khaddar is rough but for the villagers most loved and desires. The spinning wheel or charkha is a device used for the spinning of thread and the Khadi is upon what the cloth is woven. This is not the only cloth, soft Muslim too we get which is user for Kurtad and turbaned of the men. The brown Khadar of the Shahiwal region is very rare and beautiful. The art of the charkha is most developed in Lahore, Multan, Jhang, Sargpdja, Quasar, and Jhelum a splendor and grace all their own. Khes or large rough bed sheets are one most useful product. The weaver uses his bold, rustic and natural talent to express his mood in his weaving a mood most resplendent and obvious. Darries, carpets, rugs in bold and carious impressions are a gay and impressive product of the weaver art. The lacha or the Punjab sarong too the weaver creates. The bell adorned in this most voluptuous dress is an image of beauty. The lacha for the lady and the Lungi the slightly less decorative garment bold in design though not in color is what is woven for the men. The malmal Khaddar a cloth of finer quality is woven too for Kurtas and other lighter garments. The Multani craftsman has won fame for tapestry weaving. This is most often in indigo and white. Other color schemes are black, yellow, orange and green. The horizontal and rugs, mats and other household linen too are produced. The lacha and Lungi cloth ad woven by the village weaver is used now by foreigners for shirts and blouses.
Carpets of Pakistan have receives wide recognition abroad. The carpet weavers of Lahore and Balochistan use both the Turkish and the Persian knot for their art. They have imagized most beautiful pattern upon their prized variety of carpentry. They come mostly in the form of the hunting garden of floral carpets.
All over the land craftsmen are engaged in woodcarving and produce furniture and wooden curios of unsurpassed quality. The artisan of the Punjab in woodcarving uses the skills of carving, incising, coloring and inlaying. Walnut wood furniture is famous worldwide for the art and delicacy with which it is created. Chiniot is famous for brass inlayed woodwork. Lacquer work is found in Khaniwal, Kasur and Chiniot. Choice of color and design vary from place to place. Black, White and brown are favorite colors in the Punjab. Beds, bed legs, low chairs or pihris, picture stands and swings were created and mow with a new love of folklore in the land are fashionable items in spice containers, mirror frames, walkers, toys, imitation fruit and vegetables.
Metal craft is the most well produced at Lahore, Wazirabad, Sialkot and Gujranwala. At Wazirabad, we produce excellent cutlery. Daggers and knives, swords and stilettos are produces as specimens of great beauty. The plough, the hoe and the sickle that are emblems of our rustic and rural heritage find production here. Floral pots with pictorial designs are decorative objects. The old city of Moenjodaro with its seals and emblems has given its glory to the metal art of Pakistan. In copper craft the Pakistani artisan skill is at its highest. The surahis and aftabas are beautiful metal containers that are famous for their artistry and splendor. Panels in relief with intricate designs are decorative specimens. Metal craft with chasing, perforation and repousse is much in demand.
Jewelers are termed as one of the largest communities of craftsman in Pakistan. Beautiful ornaments are designed both in folk and modern traditions. Silver is the common jewelry metal used in the Punjab.
The embroidery of Punjab is very skilled more so the intricate phulkari work. Colours of all kinds and skilled labour create this most apt and admirable example of our folk artistry. Each area has its own most exquisite motif and each part of Punjab is able to bestow to embroidery a character and grace all its own.
Rilli is a very decorative craft and uses printing, applique and embroidery. On very expensive material the rilli artisan can create modes and mixture of unsurpassed beauty. In the Cholistan area the rilli is a favourite art and all over the Punjab a mode of art which is greatly appreciated especially by the village folk. The bed sheet, bed spread, floor rug and shawl are most useful expression rilli craft.
Sculptural designs of all kinds are created in this mode of folk craft. Upholstery, curtains, and dining tables are the examples of ingenious articles created by block printing. The symmetrical designs create a beauty that is very unique of Punjab. Block printing on silk is a special article of this craft that is mainly done in Multan and Lahore.
Clay craft is one of earliest means of creation. He with his love of beauty and skill has made it into a most expressive mode of expression. The terra-cotta art has been developed into an ingenious mode. In the Cholistan and Bahawalpur region is created pottery of paper-thin quality. That is an example of skill not found anywhere else. The potter’s wheel in the hands of artisan is a tool from which the most exquisite art is produced. The glazed pottery too is of great charm.
Leather and decoration of it in chain stitch is a fovourite craft in the Punjab, which leather art of fine quality. Weavers put in endless labour and love to produce leather mats, bags, purses, belts, hats etc. The shahi jooti of leather stitched and embroidered with gold or silver thread is a great boon of this area. The Punjabi jooti of Lahore is another attraction; the khussa of this region is very famous. The special thing of Punjabi shoe is that both pieces of pair are identical and each can be put on either foot.
The camel skin work as found in Bahawalpur and Multan is most beautiful and replete in its worth. The arabesque images of Mughal tradition are used to sublimate the skill of this art. In the terms of beauty and expression of the folkloric wonder of Punjab is nothing that would be lovelier than the camel skin work as done in the Punjab. The camel skin lamp reflects the light through it; other thing produces are camel skin vases, bottles, bowls, dishes and other curious.
Ivory has lost its place. Now bone work is rage of the day. The images and impressions as created by working into bone to create curios are an art of great skill. Multan, Chiniot and Lahore are areas of bone workmanship. Horns too these days are used for carving. Camel bone is used to create bangles, bracelets, key chains etc. the craft of Punjab is its integral soul and its craft create its entity.