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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 various religions.  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 religious life. 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.                  More