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Article Published In Vol.9 (Nov-Dec 2021)

Historical orientation of craft and dissimilar regional styles of Lac-turnery in Pakistan

Pages : 615-626, DOI:

Author : Muhammad Yasir Azeem Khan, Dr. Samina Zia Sheikh and Wajahit Ali

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Lac-turnery is one of the most ancient and widely known skills of carving wood to style colourful and complicated wooden objects that are festooned with prolific designs. Pakistan with its thriving and assorted heritage has an in style craft dating back to the oldest civilization of Mehergarh in Baluchistan, and the Indus Valley civilization in Sindh and Harappa in Punjab. As a craft, lac-work is as old as wood-turnery in Punjab but like all old-fashioned wooden crafts, most of the objects have decomposed with the course of time, leaving no records to help us restructure its history. Lac turnery is a craft that deals with such a skill in which diverse objects are first given desired shape on a lathe and later finished with coating of different overlying colours. These layers of colours are sometimes etched or scratched afterwards to produce striking designs on them. Delicate and vibrant geometrical and floral designs of lac-turned objects are conspicuous in character. There is a delusion about the lac-work of Jampur which at times is erroneously labeled as lacquer work. Lac work of Sillanwali which is generally known as naqqāshī is also wrongly called lacquer art. Consideration of right terminology to describe lac-work is important to understand restrained dissimilarity between lac-work and lacquered work. Lac and lacquer works are absolutely dissimilar from each other due to the variation of mediums that are applied to crafted objects. This study observes varied styles of lac-turnery in Pakistan and it adornment keeping in view dissimilarity in regional styles and terminologies that are used. Focus is also to explain materials, methods and a range of adornments that are incorporated in this centuries’ old skill to create a range of striking craft works.

Keywords: Lathe, Lac-turnery, Assorted adornment, Regional styles.



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