Who Introduced Innovations in the Kashmiri Shawl

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Kings or Communities: Who introduced innovations in the Kashmiri Shawl?

After briefly discussing the genesis of the Kashmiri Shawls we will now try to explore another main aspect of this study that is who really transformed Kashmiri shawl industry. All the historical chronicles and travelogues have overstated the role of the Kings in the development of the Kashmiri shawls. Nowhere is the role of the local communities delineated. Almost all historians and scholars who have worked on shawls have consensus on the “fact” that all the ‘new’ technicalities visible in the Shawl making were possible because of the Kings who ruled Kashmir in the past. But, which political rule has more influenced the shawl industry can’t be ascertained with certainty. That is why Ames (1986) contends that “it is impossible to speak of one ‘great period’ in the development of the Kashmiri shawl; each culture brought its own unique contribution. The development of the Kashmiri shawl is influenced directly by changing historical circumstances

In this section we tried to deconstruct this historical claim that the shawl industry in Kashmir developed because of the innovations introduced by various Kings. We explored the nature of this ‘royal patronage’ and the role various Kings played in the development of the pashmina shawls in Kashmir. We found that Kashmiri pashmina shawl industry developed because of the ingenuity and creative potential of the local communities.

Innovations by the local

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