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Kashmiri Pashmina Shawl

  • 28 Jan 2023
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

Kashmir’s famed pashmina shawls, known for centuries for their signature intricate buta or paisley patterns, got a French touch.

  • The transformation, where Kashmiri shawls were adorned with abstract paintings rather than intricate embroidery, has re-introduced the fabric with new-age aesthetics.

What is Pashmina?

  • About:
    • Pashmina is a Geographical Indication (GI) certified wool that has its origin from Kashmir region of India.
      • Originally Kashmiri people used Pashmina shawls to keep themselves warm during the winter season.
    • The term 'Pashmina' has been derived from a Persian word “Pashm” meaning a weavable fiber precisely wool.
    • Pashmina Shawls are very costly due to their fine quality of wool and the hard work involved in making one single piece.
      • Weaving a single Pashmina Shawl takes a long time depending on the type of work involved. It generally takes around 72 hours or more to complete one shawl.
  • Source:
    • The wool that is used in weaving the Pashmina Shawl is obtained from the Changthangi goats (Capra Hircus) domesticated in Ladakh by the Changpa tribes.
      • The Changpa are semi-nomadic community which inhabit Changthang (which is spread across Ladakh and Tibet Autonomous Region) or other regions of Ladakh.
      • The Changpa were classified as a Scheduled Tribe under the Indian Government's affirmative action reservation program.
  • Significance:
    • Pashmina is one of the finest and highest quality wool in the whole world.
    • Pashmina Shawl attracted the attention of people from all across the world and hence this became one of most demanding shawls in the whole world.
      • Its high demand boosted the local economy.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. With reference to ‘Changpa’ community of India, consider the following statements: (2014)

  1. They live mainly in the State of Uttarakhand.
  2. They rear the Pashmina goats that yield a fine wool.
  3. They are kept in the category of Scheduled Tribes.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

Source: TH

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