29 Juli 2011

Arts & Crafts of Maldives, unique and fascinating

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The Maldive Islands, widely renowned as a tourist destination also feature exquisite and intriguing indigenous arts and crafts. Many of these artistic techniques have been passed on through the generations and are still masterfully practiced even today.

The amazing skills of Maldivian stone carvers of years past may be seen in the intricate stone carvings of Male’s Hukuru Miskiyy and in some of the ancient cemeteries to be found in the islands.

Maldivian craftsmen are renowned for creating exquisite works of great artistic merit out of the materials which are locally available. Of high aesthetic value are the calligraphic arts which are closely connected with the Islamic religion. Fine calligraphic inscriptions may be seen in many of the newer as well as old mosques depicting verses from the Holy Koran. Some of the finest work of the nation’s contemporary calligraphers is to be seen in the national Islamic Centre.

Although admittedly some of the indigenous arts have gradually declined over time, other handicrafts have flourished with the development of tourism. Interestingly the trade in ornaments fashioned from black coral and tortoise shells which once thrived has now become extinct due to environmental concerns.

Attractive red mats are created widely in the island nation and the best known and most prized are those which are woven by the women of the location known as Gadhdhoo situated in Gaafu Dhaalu atoll. These mats are sun dried and coloured with natural dyes reflecting the artistry of the weaver.

Wooden lacquer ware is amongst the Maldives’ finest creations. In this specialized craft sections of wood are hollowed out and shaped to create lovely containers, boxes and decorative objects. These items are lacquered in coloured resin to create amazing works of art.

Not to be overlooked is the age-old Maldivian art of boat building, where little has changed over the years. No formal plan is used in the process; instead the symmetry and design of the vessel emerges in the course of construction.

The discerning visitor looking for Maldives boutique resorts will be delighted with Anantara Veli, Maldives. The Maldives water bungalows found here are a wonderful place to relax and unwind in the midst of luxury.