Copper items

Traam- The Craft Of Copperware In Kashmir

Traam : The Craft of copperware in kashmir

When we asked some tourists, what is the most eye-catching thing you’ve seen so far in the markets of Kashmir? They instantly replied, “Copperware!”

Kashmiri Copperware goes by the term “Traam” and the art of engraving designs on a tram is known as “Kandkari”

kashmiri Copperware

Among the numerous treasures of Kashmir, lies the elegant craft of copperware, an ancient art that was introduced to Kashmiris by an Islamic scholar, Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani about 700 years ago. The Copperware craft has been an indispensable commodity for the Kashmiris and has been deeply rooted within the Kashmiri culture and heritage.

Did You Know?

The World-famous “Samovars” that are used to make kahwa are actually huge cylindrical urns made out of copper with beautiful carvings on the outside. Things like glasses, plates, cups, pans,tash near (portable hand washers), are made out of copper in Kashmir.

Samovars" that are used to make kahwa are actually huge cylindrical urns made out of copper .

For now, let us take a brief look at how copperware or Tram is crafted in Kashmir.

To craft a vessel from copper it requires the involvement of more than 4 artisans who dedicatedly imply their skills in the making of copperware. It demands time and labor as the manufacturing process is slow and difficult.

making of copperware.
  • It starts with an artisan who is locally termed as “Baraksaz ” in Kashmiri. He is the one who casts the rims, and stands for the base, handles, hinges, etc. 
  • The baraksaz sends these uncooked metallic pieces to another artisan known as the Smith ( Khar in Kashmiri) to shape them into smooth items.
  • After the Khar gets the copperware ready, he sends it to another artisan known as Naqash- The engraver. His job is to design the copperware with motifs, chinars, or mihrabs.
  • To clean the rough edges, the next artisan known as “Charakgar” gives it a neat look before it is sent for polish.
  • The next step is done by a ‘Roshangar who’ polishes the finished product and is immediately followed by applying a coat of tin known as “Kalai” which is accomplished with the help of a “kalaisaz” (The Glider).

Some interesting tools used in the making of the tram are:

  • Hammer (Draz)
  • Stakes (Mekh)
  • Anvil (Yandrewah)
  • Chisel (Khoor)
  • Iron scissor (Duker)

The question that many people still ask is what exactly do people in Kashmir prefer to have in copper? Well, the list is long but we’ve summed it up for you.

  • Tream: a platter for 4, in the modern Kashmiri era it is extensively used during feasts.
Tream: a platter for 4, in the modern Kashmiri era.
  • Near: a huge water jug (also used in feats to help the guests wash their hands)
 a huge water jug
  • Tash-near: a portable hand-washer, in which water is collected that comes from washing the hands. Near and tash near go hand in hand. At feasts such as weddings, a group of young boys takes the “Near” and “tash near” to every guest attending to assist them in washing their hands. 
“tash near” to every guest attending to assist them in washing their hands.
  • Dry fruit bowls: we admit it, Kashmiris love dry fruits and so they love to invest in a good copper dry fruit bowl.
copper dry fruit bowl
  • Trays 
  • Samovar 
  • Plates and cups

Fact Check:

Previously, Copper was mined domestically from the mountains of Aishmuqam situated in the Liddar valley of Southern Kashmir.

A brief insight into the history of the tram:

The craft of copperware flourished during the reign of King Zain Ul Abideen, the eighth sultan of Kashmir. Before that metalworkers were focused mainly on making gun barrels and swords. With the end of the Mughal era, the metal workers went back to crafting things that were important to their culture such as tram, near, and other vessels.

craft of copperware flourished.

To date, downtown remains the hub of copperware, with the oldest markets being in Zainakadal.

Did You Know: 

Kashmiri pandits extensively used brassware even before the influence of Islam in the valley.

Read more about the beautiful traditions of Kashmir only at www.kashmers.com.

Have you ever had food in a tream? If yes, tell us what dish you enjoyed the most in the comments down below:

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