Painted shelter of Kaferi Smasta Kukarai

In 2000 the author found a shelter with the vestiges of paintings in CharoonaDara locality on south of present Kukrai village of Swat. This shelter is about 3 km south of Kukrai village in Charoona Dara locality. Situated on the crest of Gishar hill in west of Mount Elam, the site is known as KaferiSmasta (shelter), with paintings of hunters and human figures. The shelter is shallow, semi-circular of about 1.50 m in depth and 5 m height. No signs of artificial intervention were found.
The paintings executed inside the natural undressed surface of the shelter. The images are painted on the right side wall of the shelter, with a mud pigment. On the right side wall where the ceiling begins to slope down reveal seven figures and representation of a monument. To facilitate description of the paintings, it may be divided into two groups although they make up a uniform composition. The top register reveals a person standing in front of monument in akimbo position; with the hands on the hips and the elbows turned outwards. Another is irregular structure of a stupa, having six tiers and a human figure on its top, such paintings have already been reported from the site of Hodar at Upper Indus Valley (see Antiquities of Northern Pakistan ANP, vol. 03, Pl. 102).
Human figures of the lower register are standing in the front in varying positions. All figures are with opened wide hands and legs. It seems that they are celebrating a hunting scene. The technique most commonly used for the painting is that of outlined figures, but human figures are more realistic on the wall of the shelter. All the human figures hold a weapon, a tool; bow and arrow, or a club in their hands. The human figures of KaferiSmasta reveal resemblance to the painting of Dwolasmane-patai shelter of Kandag valley (Olivieri 2005: 220).
All these objects were probably painted with a finger or struck using whitish ochre. There is a complete absence of polychrome. The original paintings were in white, and a faint white line remains visible around figures subsequently repainted in yellow. KaferiSmasta paintings are characteristically in a yellowish cream shade, which at times can be made to look pink from the underlying red sandstone. It is not known why this colour was chosen. However, since the shelter’s greater exposure to the weather is responsible for deteriorating many of the paintings. Shepherds have frequently utilized the site for shelter, the fleece of their flocks, rubbing paintings from the walls, or smoke from their fires are eliminating most of the artistic details.

You Might Also Like



Weather in Waadi Swat