Meet Abdul Ahad Muran and Mohammad Yusuf Muran, artisans from Kashmir who carve things from one piece of wood without any joint with great accuracy and perfection.
Their work has been recognized internationally but guess what? Abdul Ahad is deaf and Mohammad Yusuf is mute. They have not let their disability to come in the way of becoming one of the most talented woodcarvers whose creations have made it to the international markets.
Both of them are passionate wildlife lovers. Mudasir Muran son of Abdul Ahad says both his dad and uncle keep watching Animal planet on TV and afterwards they make craving of animals they see on it from walnut logs.
From living animals to those extinct, from Greek Gods to Hindu mythological figures they have carved them all. They have even made carvings of Mahatma Gandhi and Saddam Husain.. They made replica of Jamia Masid in Kashmir which was presented to Iranian Ambassador. Recently they created a replica of Hangul, a dying species of deer in Kashmir for free for a USA based NGO which had to run campaign to save extinct animals. In 2013 the duo had made a model of Kashmiri houseboat that was showcased at Mumbai airport. This model received huge appreciation from locals and foreigners.
Muran family has been carving business for almost 200 years now. They had a unit in Karachi before partition of India and Pakistan. Their forefathers used to sell carving in Iran through silk route. But at times now the Muran bothers feel no one in the family shall carry on this tradition as there is little recognition of their craft. Their products are being sold at higher price by local traders but they are paid just peanuts. The traders have made billions with their work but no one knows the real people, Muraan brothers behind them.
Expressing through their gestures their feelings, they want to convey the sad state of other artisans like them in Kashmir who spent their lifetimes doing this work but are highly doubtful if future generations would like to carry this on, as artisans don’t receive any credit for their work.
“We at Gyawun highly recommend that if you travel to Kashmir, and if you want to see the real artists behind Kashmiri handicrafts do pay a visit to artisans like Muran brothers “