Ancient carving and embroidery in the
Valley of Swat.
By: Fazal Rabbi Rahi
In the valley of Swat, civilizations are begotten. Different religions had
flourished here. This historical land has seen the rise and decline of
An appreciation of craftsmanship developed here among the people, who
according to their customs and traditions, achieved perfection in
craftsmanship in the form of sculpture.
The statues, engraved by these engravers, can be seen on the rocks. The
sceneries and statues, carved on these rocks give a picture of their
Apart from the rocks and stones, cloth, leather, doors of the houses,
woolen products, Tawnai (a Swati wooden cupboard of exquisite style),
Takhtposh (wooden prayer-may) and other articles of daily use have been
embroidered and carved so beautifully, that the style is unmatched. All
this reflect the somber aspects of the Swati life of those days. In this
connection, great work has been done in Swat Kohistan particularly in
Bahrain, Kalam, Utror, Gabral and Matiltan, where epitaphs, minarets of
mosques, pillars and fireplaces have been carved in an excellent manner.
Some exquisite models of Islamic architecture can also be seen here.
But it is tragic to say that exquisite Swati embroidery and carvings are
disappearing from Swat. The businessmen in the trade of the antiques have
been selling this great Swati heritage to foreign tourists.