Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

A Tour of the World of the Arts and Crafts of the Hajj Season

Thu 07 Jul 2022 | 06:35 PM

The heritage crafts are deep in Egyptian civilization since ancient times, and they are one of the most important means of artistic expression because the Egyptian artist has provided immortal cultural products through the ages, there is no line immortalized in Egyptian history but you may see the heritage crafts Form an integral part of this great history of Egyptian art, and there are heritage characters associated with many occasions celebrated by Egyptians.

Heritage crafts, especially related to the hajj season, and we will take a field tour today to benefit all those who are lovers of the taste of Egyptian art associated with the occasion of the hajj season and we can visit these workshops and get to know them closely with our children so that they have enough visual culture and from those arts the art of zarksha kaaba cladding in the style of serma, which is the embroidery of calligraphic decorations.

The artist uses metal threads of silver and this art is always associated with the art of Arabic calligraphy and one of the most famous artists in this art is Ahmed Shawky Al-Kassabji and his workshop is based in the area of Khan Al Khalili, grandson of Osman Abdul Hamid al-Kassabji, who was head of the Kaaba cladding from 1926 to 1929, and he makes small models similar to what was made to adorn the walls of houses

The kaaba cloth came out of his grandfather's hand three times, and from the stages of work of preparing the silk cloth, and the process of pulling the silver wire to be worked and processing the villas, and the needle, and the calligrapher makes the Verses of the Qur'an and then the process of tobacco or fermentation and put the paper on the cloth and we walk on it with powder to be printed on the cloth, and the process of battery or cardboard on the wooden tissue,  To produce a great painting.

Among them are the metal artifacts, especially the formation of the key to the Kaaba and the use of the artistic style of engraving, takfit or vaccination of 1000 caliber silver and one of the most famous contemporary families that inherited the style of engraving, takfit or downloading as it is called artisans is the family of Al Hussein, which has always been characterized by the presentation of what is an ambassador for the Islamic and Egyptian heritage of the world

In the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo there is the key of the Kaaba of copper, which is reserved for silver and this key is attributed to the Mamluk Sultan Ashraf Shaaban, and is one of the most prominent and important of those remaining models of the keys of the Kaaba, and it was engraved with Qur'anic verses from Surat al-Fath in the naskh script, and recorded on it the name and titles of The Honorable Sultan Shaaban.

One of them is to vaccinate wood with camel bone in the sakiain neighborhood, the workshop of the artist Mohammed Ashmawy, who specializes in Arab carpentry and vaccinates wood with the bones of the camels left at the butchers, and from there to the art of forming swimming from the horns of sacrifices, which is done by the artist Abu Al-Rai A workshop in the Red Path area to form what remains of the bones and horns of the sacrifices by the work of swimming, including to tanning leather and sacrificial skins, which are then used in binding books and shoes in the workshop of the artist Khaled Antar behind the area of Khiyamiya Leather agency with leather dyeing stages and processing for binding old books

One of them is sculpture on buffalo horns and I did a unique experience i had inside a workshop in Al-Muez Street in front of the mosque for four hours of work with all the vigour and activity carried out by the artist Ahmed Yahya, imagine with me that this artist transformed his ideas and forms in his mind into a concrete product in a distinct realistic style

In front of my eyes, he was able with all craftsmanship, accuracy and skill to form a camel and carry from the horn of buffalo in celebration of the hajj season and begins his speech that he learned this craft by a mother and that he can work on materials such as buffalo horn, ebony, ostrich eggs and all kinds of wood

And the first stages of work he cut the buffalo horn in half the first piece of the neck and the second piece of the camel body, then clean the two sides and adjust the legs and then the process of unloading on the chopping machine and then the stage of drawing croquet on the piece, then the phase of the frizzy and then enter the stage of rough sandpaper and then discharge and then to the lubrication after that polishing

He then cut small wooden pieces to be installed on the body of camels to become loaded with high craftsmanship, and this workshop produces some complete artifacts such as camels, elephants, crocodiles, geese, deer, turtles and giraffes used in decorating houses, combs and bracelets for personal uses and also works characters from those centuries and also produces the workshop handles hand stick, different shapes and sizes of buffalo horns there are large, small, narrow and wide, each of which uses specific and the way it is carved.

What struck me most in that unique experience was that the buffalo horn that was lying in front of me on the ground is now a product that dazzles the eyes of the real beauty.

We must all appreciate these beautiful products that are produced in many stages and hard effort for four hours to produce a very accurate and beautiful product, and we know that in Egypt there are many skilled craftsmen who we must stand by and keep

Among them is the art of hajj murals, which were always on the walls of houses such as camels, steamers, airplanes, Qur'anic verses, various pilgrimages, the art of murals, an aesthetic energy and a dazzling color system expressed by each artist with his artistic experience and the ability to increase imagination to reality and after this art an important documentation of the pilgrimage journey carried out by one of the inhabitants of these houses and one of the most famous creators of these wall arts artist Hajj Eid Al-Selwawi and his son Taha,  He started in 1964 in Aswan and learned this art at the hands of his uncle, and his first drawing was camels, then he drew the loader, kaaba and green dome of our Prophet,, then learned the color and then specialized in the drawings of hajj murals, and drew hajj rituals on a blue floor, and his son Taha learned this art in 2014 and developed it,  And learn the composition of colors of oxides, Arabic glue and rose water, and perform direct execution on the walls with newspapers and palms, and each area has its own character and character and every occasion has its own mural, and when the pilgrim returns he finds the joy of the walls celebrating him and with him the holy pilgrimage, and those murals are a reminder of the pilgrimage journey for many years