In order to make contribution in the preservation of the heritage of the Pamir, the “Ishkashim voluntary school” in the public organization “Gulu Giyoh” began its little research.
Honjonova Hushnamo, a resident of the village Mulvoj, still remembers who preserved the old pitchers and knows the elders having the knowledge of the creation of these pieces of art. Our voluntary Honjonova Hushnamo interviewed the keepers of art knowledge in her village Mulvoj to know what they do remember about the pottery art. She asked about the variations of the shape of the different pots and their function and where the necessary sands can be found to create the pitchers.
So she found out that in the Gangideri valley in Mulvodzh she can find the right clay which is still used for tandoori. Hushnamo gathered members of her family and picks and shovels for an expedition to Gangideri valley. When they reached the place, they began to pick up the sand together, sift it and thus get a clean send.
On the way back they met Gulzor, a well known elder from Mulvoj. They told him the goal of their hike and he drew very valuable data from his rich life experience.
So Hushnamo learned, that it needs to make a clay and leave it for 4-5 days before making pitchers. Molded ceramics differ from ceramics made in the potter’s wheel. Molded pots are created gradually from the base with a gradual drying of its components. In the past, when the pots were finished they were collected in one place, enliving firewood and dung. To get the correct pot, it was necessary to keep the fire from evening until the morning. After these pitchers took their characteristic color, depending on the sort of clay, they were ready for use. When the volunteers reached the house, Hushnamo kneaded clay just like Gulzor told her and started waiting.
Mrs. Hushnamo tells:
Gorge of Avj.
We went to the valley of the Avj village. We – it’s me, Pahlavon, Gulsher, Aziz and aka Amonbek. From Mulvoj to Avj gorge we walked five hours. The gorge was beautiful: the birds were singing everywhere, green was blooming and flowers (many of which were healing) swayed in the wind. We got to the pastureland, on wich according to elders’s advices the clay should exist. And fortunately we found that. Aka Amonbek showed us the location of clay. He described how in the old days, his mother, as well as other women made jugs, cups and other necessary utensils from clay. In that time there were not dishes of porcelain or glass, all the dishes have molded from clay. However, this clay was used not only for domestic purposes, but also for medicinal ones. The color of the clay was black.
In Garmchashma mountin uniq clay is also exists. It is light – blue. When we discussed with elders about clay, which is existing here they said that all of the clays could be used for pottery but only with different firing technologies. Dishes or other thing should be burned no less then twenty-four hours. Also they said that clay was used for making big cauldrons, which were used for keeping milk or yogurt.
Fortunatelly, that Baghush also has special clay. I went there and understood it by myself. Old people of this village shared their knowledge and said that, clay was used not only for making crockery but also for tanurs (large clay ovens needed for baking bread)
About pitcher sculpting.
With aunt Gulbegim we started to modeling pitchers. Aunt Gulbegim has never done pitchers form clay, but she remember how her mother did. First, we made a dough from the clay. Then, including our fantasy, without even any template we started to sculpt pitchers. Third, we proceeded to the firing. In order to burn well, a pitcher needs to be burned for a long time. So, we have positioned our pitchers in the open countryside, surrounded them by dung and burned. We keep the fire from seven pm. until morning. Next day, when we went to “visit” our creations, we understood that they are ready. Pulling them out of the fire, we smeared them with oil. Now they are dry and ready for use. Before firing, they were bluish and black, and now they turned red.