How Harisa, lockdown turned Srinagar-based Aziz-ur Rehman into a bone artist

Story by  Basit Zargar | Posted by  Aasha Khosa • 7 Months ago
Aziz ur Rehaman  with his exhibits in Srinagar
Aziz ur Rehaman with his exhibits in Srinagar


Basit Zargar/Srinagar

Aziz Ur Rehman watched his mother cook Harrisa, a mutton delicacy eaten in winter in Kashmir, to discover his innate talent.

At, 22, this Kashmiri man from the Gulabagh area of Srinagar is an artist who creates artifacts and articles of use by crafting the bones of animals. Most likely, Aziz is the only bone craft artist from J&K. His extensive collection ranges from intricately carved decorative pieces to functional items like pen stands and candle stands.

"I used to watch my mother cook Harissa; She boiled the meat to the point that large chunks of meat fell off the bones.

When my mother discarded the bones, I took one large bone and carved a knife out of it."

Aziz ur Rehman at the exhibition

Aziz said he made a small pendant knife out of the bone. "I received a lot of appreciation for it on social media.”

Aziz is studying agricultural sciences at Kashmir’s Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences.  He earns his livelihood through his art of bone crafting.

Aziz said, “I make articles like jewelry, key chains, knives, and other decorative items from the bones of animals.”

He told Awaz-the Voice that he always had a creative streak in his mind.

“I have always been interested in art and creating things, right from my childhood.

The Coivid-19 induced lockdown was a boon for him. Since there was nothing much to do he worked on his skill and created a lot of items from discarded bones.

“Once the carved art pieces are ready, I click their pictures and post them on my social media platform for sale. Many people have bought my art pieces for their uniqueness,” he said.

“Earlier my parents didn’t support me. They thought I was wasting my time, but, today they appreciate my work and support me."

Aziz says his parents are happy with his engagement with work and feel at least this keeps him away from bad company and social evils like drugs.

Aziz-ur Rehman received huge recognition when the Kashmir Art Emporium in Srinagar hosted a two-day bone carving exhibition of his works under the "Know Your Artisan" initiative. People showed great interest in his work.

Mehmood Ahmad Shah, the Director of Handicrafts and Handloom, praised Aziz's talent and dedication.

Aziz told Rising Kashmir newspaper that the exhibition aims to introduce people to the unique art form prevalent in Kashmir. He said as such waste bones are abundant due to the high consumption of mutton in the Valley, and this resource can be utilized.

Aziz also expressed his gratitude for the support he received from his parents.

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Aziz told media persons that he hopes to inspire young people to explore their creativity and pursue various artistic fields, emphasizing the potential not only for personal fulfillment but also for generating income. His journey in bone carving has been described as amazing and surprising, underscoring the power of passion and determination.