Kashmir that blossomed out of the legendary primeval lake Satiar is still a land replete with water bodies-lakes, rivers, streams, springs etc. No exaggeration, if it is called a ‘water civilization’. The community that is directly involved in vocations connected with water bodies is called Heenz. They have typical ethnic characteristics and call themselves the descendants of prophet Noah. Within this community, there are divisions, based on their typical vocations i) Denb-Heenz-grow vegetables and sell these ii) Geer-Hanz collect water chestnuts, iii) Gaadi – Henz – are the fishermen, who catch fish and trade in these iv) Mata-Heenz – deal in timber, v) Kar-naav Henz-grow a special type of willow and use it for making baskets etc.
Not unexpectedly, Kashmiris have excelled in the craft of making boats – made from pine wood – generally Deodar. There are different types of boats i) Doonga – a dwelling place, complete in every respect ii) Bahasth – flat bottomed large boat used for carrying heavy loads like timber ii) Shikara – the comfortable boat used for going across the river or making a round of the lake. Iv) Khoch – roofless boat used for carrying vegetables and flowers. V) Dembi-naav – small boat used for traveling in swamps. And vi) the famous House of Kashmir culture, as it presents a slice of Kashmir culture with its carvings, Khatumband roof, walnut furniture, papier machine goods.
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