Neglected craft of Aba-bafi to be revived in western Iran

March 5, 2021 - 19:0

TEHRAN – The dying handicraft field of Aba-bafi (weaving cloak) has been planned to be revived in the western province of Ilam, the provincial tourism chief has said. 

The field of handicraft that has been obsolete will be brought back to life with careful planning and the expertise of skilled craftspeople, Abdolmalek Shanbehzadeh announced on Friday. 

Aba (cloak) has had various uses in the past and was mostly used as the outer garment for the people of high social status, he added. 

“Handicraft businesses play a vital role in the economic prosperity of the local communities. They could easily generate jobs and reach profitability with the least amount of investment,” the official noted, citing reasons for such revival attempts.  

With 14 entries, Iran ranks first globally for the number of cities and villages registered by the World Crafts Council, as China with seven entries, Chile with four, and India with three ones come next.

Iran exported $523 million worth of handicrafts during the past calendar year 1398 (ended March 19, 2020). Of the figure, some $273 million worth of handicrafts were exported officially through customs, and about $250 million was earned via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) through various provinces, according to data provided by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.

Ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths as well as personal ornamentations with precious and semi-precious gemstones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, the U.S., the UK, and other countries.


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