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The Arts and Crafts of the Hunza Valley in Pakistan
Living Traditions in the Karakoram
The Arts and Crafts of the Hunza Valley in Pakistan is a thorough ethnographic field research conducted over a period of twenty years. It is augmented by the author’s selection of photographs which add depth to the study by providing a frame of reference for the wide array of crafts and lifestyles that existed and continue to flourish in the area. He delves into the variations of art fostered in the Valley, from woodwork to embroidery, by taking into account the geographical and historical links to Central Asia and Kashmir, hence, exploring the amalgamation of cultures that enrich the work. The author has systematically carried out studies of locals from all walks of life. His interviews of master craftspeople, which are on the verge of disappearing along with the correct indigenous terminology, help enhance the distinct cultures of that region. This book is an important reference material for those who are interested in understanding the Hunza region, its people, and its arts and crafts.
Dr Jürgen Wasim Frembgen is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. He has taught Anthropology and Islamic Studies at various universities in Germany and Austria. Since 1981 he has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork in Pakistan on an annual basis—including working in the Karakoram, Indus Kohistan, Punjab, and Sindh. In addition, he has been a visiting professor at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad (National Institute of Pakistan Studies), National College of Arts in Lahore, and Ohio State University in Columbus, USA. He recently retired from his position as senior curator at the Museum Fünf Kontinente in Munich.
Dr Frembgen has more than 130 English and German language publications to his credit. He has written extensively on the cultures of the Eastern Muslim world between Iran and India, focusing particularly on Pakistan. Many of his books and articles deal with Islam, the Sufi tradition, the veneration of Muslim saints, art and material culture, the anthropology of the body, social outsiders, and facets of popular culture. He has also curated numerous exhibitions dealing with cultures of the Muslim world. In 2011, he was awarded the Tamgha-i Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan for his distinguished merits in the field of science and literature.