Symbolization is a universal human process. It is the most important human trait that man can create and use symbols, every nation, tribe and community have different types of symbols for their identity. Flag is one of them; most popular use of flag is to symbolize a nation, country, community or ethnic group. Flag helps to unite people. Alam is an Arabic name, which means flag. Alam has spiritual significance for all Shi’a Muslims of the world. Alam of Ghazi Abbas is universal it has no artificial boundaries; people who hold Alam are referred as Alamdars.Alam is the resemblance flag of Islam after the blood shade of Karbala tragedy. Almost Holy Alam has represented and secured by Shi’a sect. Shi’a people are emotionally attached to Holy Alam, because of the historical sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain and Hazrat Ghazi Abbas for the protection of Islam in Karbala.
Manufacturing process of Alam
Wadhan-jo-Pir is the central point of manufacturing of Alam in Sindh. During the fieldwork expert carpenter Aijaz Ali Wighio told that, process of manufacturing of Alam is lengthy because Alam manufactures in different parts, in the end all parts joint to each other by sequence. First of all, expert carpenter of engrave works on the rough wood for manufacturing of Alam, he balances wood by his particular tools, after that wood shifts to drawing master, which sketches designs through his frames on the different parts of Alam according to the order. He further said,there are seven parts of Alam, (1) Nezo (2) Chowk (3) Shamadan (4) Moor/Madhan (5) Ring set (6) Kondi (7) Katera.
Nezo: It is a very important part of Alam. Nezo of large Alam becomes very heavy, two to three persons can move it from one place to another place during manufacturing. Carpenters joint all parts of Alam by sequence on Nezo. Expert carpenter of wadhan-jo-pir, Shaiq Ali Wighio is the 35 years old; he is working as an expert carpenter of extraction (Rande-Jo-Kareegar) since 20 years, he is working on daily basis, he can earn one thousand rupees per day. His work is hardest than other carpenters, because by the hand tool of extraction (Rando) he balances the rough wood. He said during interview that, when he prepared a complete balanced Nezo after that, he have to handover it to another carpenter of polish for further work. When polish expert fulfills the little holes by important and particular chemical, then Nezo would be handover to color artist.
Chowk (circle): Itis very important part of Alam. First of all, circle plate of wood manufactures by iron machine, then design master sketch designs by his frames on that circle plat, after that circle plate is being prepared by another expert of Chhapak machine (cutting machine) in the end expert carpenter of color artist have to color it.
Shamadan: It has many parts, carpenter manufactures in different parts, and every wood plate has same process of manufacturing. All parts of Shamadan joint each other in the end. Shamadan joints below to circle (chowk) and sometime it joints on the upper side of circle that depends on height, shape and design of Alam.
Moor (Peacock) /Madhan: Peacock is the symbol of beauty, purity and sacred symbol in Sindhi culture.This part of Alam is very important for the decorum of any Alam. Madan is synonym for Moor, but some people consider them different parts.
Ring set: It is also very important part of Alam, it increases the beauty of Alam. Ring set joints in the middle of Alam.
Kondi: This is the main part of any large Alam, it has also same process of manufacturing as other parts of Alam have. Kondi has the particular space in the bottom of Alam, it increases the decorum of Alam.
Kateera: Carpenter manufactures these types of the important part of Alam in different parts and space of this particular part of alam is fixed on the upper part of circle of Alam.
Expenses of Alams
Price of Small Alam starts from ten thousands to twenty thousands and large Alam prepares by one Lac to 50 Lacs. That depends on the size, design, shape, and quality of wood and work. Every Alam has own price based on design, length, height, quality of wood and color art. Art of coloring is very interesting and comprehensive work. During the color of Alam carpenter and color artist should have to careful about everything regarding to interpretation of colors, because every color interprets its different meaning in Islam like, black color is the symbol of grief and mourns, red color is the symbol of blood, and green color is the resemblance of poison. Therefore, during the manufacturing of any symbolic thing color artist takes care about the significant meaning of colors.
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