The craft traveled to India from Persia with the sufi mystics who had a profound influence on Kashmir’s hand sector. Waste papers, discarded paper, cloth, straw of rice plant make up the base material, soaked and pounded to a pulp. The work is divided between two communities: the “Sakhtasazi” (Sakhta is mold) mold-makers and the “Nakashikari”, the painters.
Mechanization and cheap substitutes were destroying this craft when OS-3 (now Claro) sought CRC’s intervention. Helped by Dr. Alvi, CRC formed a Papier Mache group in a Dal Lake Basti in politically disturbed Kashmir with Mohammad Nasir and master craftsman, Md Liaquat. The decorative craft has survived but needs support.