The Art of Jammu and Kashmir

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

Nestling in the shelter of lush and virgin forests full of deodars and lilies which cover many unexplored hills, Gool is a tiny hamlet with a small population. To add to the unexplored beauty of Gool, this small hamlet boasts about Gabba. The art of Gabba weaving was first originated in Gool. Gabba is a hand-woven pile rug of coarse quality characterized by an abstract design that relies upon open fields of colour. Only few are aware of the fact that Gabba carpets were the original carpets from Jammu and Kashmir.

Presently, the so-called Kashmiri carpets are nothing but the adaptation of Iranian carpet. The weavers picked up the Irani carpet weaving for economic reasons. The original carpet from the land of paradise remains Gabba. Ali Mohammad Hajjam claims that this form of carpet weaving started in mid-16th century. His forefathers and ancestors were the first to come up with this art form. It was used for flooring to keep the wooden houses warm. The designs on the Gabba carpets were symbolic about the socio-economic status of an individual.

The wrinkled face with tired eyes swiftly moving the needle in and out of the fabric inside a dark and dingy room is a man with a mission. His strained fingers talk about his experience of more than 30 years, Ali Mohammad Hajjam, a man is on a quest. The journey he had undertaken is to save the dying art of gabba which runs in his family. Gabba is a very old form of art. Gool is considered to be the only place in the Jammu region where it is practiced while in the Kashmir region, it is already an extinct form of art.

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