The dying art: Kashmir’s traditional mat ‘Wagoo’


Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, Mar 09: The traditional reed mat popularly Known as ‘Wagoo’ which was once a household name in Kashmir is fading from public memory.

As per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the traditional eco-friendly mat, according to people associated with the ancient craft, has no takers now.

Ghulam Mohammad Mantoo (90) son of Ali Mohammad Mantoo of Moti Mohalla Kalaan in Mir Behri area of Srinagar said that he has been making Wagoo for the past 50 years but now he has left it as there are no takers for Wagoo now.

He said that when people were using traditional mats there were almost no cases of back pain and other ailments caused by the present day flooring.

He said that there is no raw material available which is required to make Wagoo. Mantoo also blamed the government for not being able to take measures to save the craft.

According to him, it has left hundreds of people associated with the craft jobless.

A mat is weaved by 2-3 artisans and fetch a meagre Rs 1000 making it challenging for people to eke out their livelihood. Wagoo is made by making long ropes together and then interlocking the reed with ropes—(KNO)

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( With inputs from : )

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