Clay, Terracotta, Pottery of Jammu & Kashmir

Of the two distinctive types of pottery available in Ladakh, one comprises of large images and icons painted in bright colours which are made for Buddhist monasteries while the other comprises of pottery artifacts like oil lamps, tea kettles, kitchen stoves, and barley wine pots.

The clay is molded by hand with simple tools made of wood, leather and stone. The local barley beer is stored in a Zama which is a wide vessel that is narrow at the neck and wide at the mouth. One of the most fancied items is a large tea kettle complete with spout, lid, handle and a brazier.

The crafts persons of Latah are engaged in the preparation of statues for Buddhists monasteries like the ones at Thickset and Hemis. Masks of clay using cloth, flour, waste paper and glue are also made here.

Glazed pottery known as Dal Gate pottery is unique to Kashmir. Originally glazed tiles in deep green, blue, brown and ochre were made. This craft has further bifurcated to table ware and vases made in red, green and blue glazes. The most famous centre is the town of Chirar-e-Sharif near the Nund Rishi shrine.