Sonpah; The Sozni Village of Budgam
Post by on Monday, June 27, 2022
Situated along the main road of Doodhpathri, Beerah, Sonpah village is known for the finest artisans of Sozni embroidery.
In the village more than 20 people have earned state awards for their tremendous contribution in Sozni embroidery which is a one of the popular needle point embroidery techniques from Kashmir valley
Among them, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, 56 years old artisan told RisingKashmir that he has been doing this art from the last four decades. In 2005 he was honoured with an international award and also ranked in a national level competition held by the Ministry of Textiles Government of India. In 2018 he received the ShilpGuru award, the most prestigious award in the Handicrafts category.
The dawn of his sozni work raised out of poverty when he had suffered a financial crisis. Some decades ago, he inherited his father's skillset and brought it into more successful status. He said that there are many artists like him in the Sonpah village of Kashmir and they have the potential to give their contribution and share in this distinguished field of art and he further pledged authorities to give more emphasis and bring awareness of this incredible handmade craft.
Talking to another artist, a graduate, Safder Ali Mir from the same village (30-year-old) who was also honoured with the state award. In 2016, Mir has been in this field for almost 25 years. He has participated in EXPO Dubai 2020 and got certification of participation.
Speaking to another artist, Nisar Ahmad Bhat who was also honoured with the state award in the year 2005, told RisingKashmir that a group of visitors thronged our village every year to see our needle work, Sozni on shawls are left dumbfounded after seeing the art.
He further added that the visitors had the impression that this work is possibly done only with the help of machines not with hands and a needle.
Mohammed Jaffer Bhat, aged 50-year-old, told RisingKashmir that since his childhood, he has been attached to this work and is still continuing. He ended his statement by saying that even educated girls of the village are associated with "sozni" work done on shawls, Kashmiri traditional pheran and other items. He said, "They are earning their livelihood easily besides continuing their studies."