Salem al Araimi from the Wilayat of Sur has an interesting corner at the Al Amerat Park, one of the venues of the Muscat Festival 2018.
Here, one can see fresh wood kept next to the finished walking sticks with a silver covering.
The idea is to tell the visitors what kind of wood has been used in the making of these walking sticks and where it has come from.
More importantly, it is a perfect opportunity to acquire a custom-made walking stick — another rich tradition of Oman.
The festival has been drawing crowds even before 5 pm during weekdays, with most families stuck near the children’s games corner.
But what attracts more crowds is the traditional souq, where veteran craftsmen showcase their skills.
It is a “live showcase”, where visitors can watch the craftsmen and women working on their products.
Salem al Araimi, who is now based in Quriyat, with help from the Public Authority for Crafts Industries, has been marketing products ranging from miniature doors to dhows to mandoos (wooden chests).Customers have started booking his wooden chests while he is busy working on his latest miniature dhow at the festival venue.
Salem also shows interested visitors the difference in each dhow.
He has all the models of dhows that once dominated the Arabian Sea and across the oceans, such as Al Ghanjah, Al Boom, Al Baghlah, Al Senbouk, Al Galbot, Al Badn and Al Shi. He also has some interesting tales to narrate.
Sitting just across him is Ahmed al Jahdhami from Bidiya, the first in his family to become a silversmith.
He began with making khanjars and has now moved to silver jewellery. He has been training with the Public Authority for Crafts Industries.
His jewellery is inspired by Omani Heritage, but he keeps in mind the present needs while making them.
His silver pieces are light and easy to wear on all occasions. The Heritage Village encompasses every aspect of Omani tradition.
The festival, indeed, is an opportunity for traditional craftsmen to showcase their products.
Lakshmi Kothaneth –
Muscat Jan 23 –