Sindh is a province full of life and culture. There is history, art and so many things invested in the roots of Sindh that we have no idea of. However, things are slowly dying maybe because we cannot take care of them or because we are evolving. Whatever may be the case, one thing is for sure– we need to start bringing back our things; things that make us who we are in better ways. It is probably for this reason that we are now able to bring back Ajrak Online. Yes, you read that right.
Ajrak is one of the most recognizable symbols of Sindh, and is an art that people all over the world appreciate and accept. It has been a part of the Sindhi culture for the last five centuries now. Ajrak has become harder to produce over the years due to the high prices of chemicals and organic colors used to make the prints. Many small-scale ajrak printing businesses have shut down and hand-made products are now being produced by machines. Still, people love the traditional ajrak style, and the value of these authentic styles has increased.
At first, Ajrak was used as a shawl for men but now that things are changing, we are seeing a change as well. Women have opted for Ajrak as well and are now wearing clothes with Ajrak prints and other forms of clothing styles.
Mohammad Ramzan, the master trainer of the unit, has been printing ajrak for fifty years after he learned the trade from his father as a young boy. “At first it used to be an exciting job, turning raw white cloth into a colorful ajrak,” Ramzan said. “But the labour required to print one ajrak is so hectic that, I often used to [think about] printing ajraks while asleep.” As the most senior member of the team, Ramzan said he earns Rs 900 per day while other workers in his unit earn Rs 650.
We hope people can continue and learn to buy these and appreciate the talent that we have but more importantly the art and the artists and give them the credit that they are due. All of this is very important to preserve the culture of an area and to keep the traditions going on for years to come. We hope that the Sindhi culture continues to inspire us and we continue to flaunt it all over the world.