Saturday is Market Day here at KAF, threat conditions permitting. So I went to see. This is an enclave at one of the corner gates, with perhaps 50 vendors, each in a stall maybe 10 foot by 12 foot. All sorts of merchandise was on offer: copies of CDs and DVDs, knockoffs of name brand watches and handbags, antique bronze items, unset gemstones, and an assortment of textiles.
Of course there were rugs. But the pashmina scarves really caught my eye. These were either rayon or a silk blend, very lightweight and finely woven, with elegant paisley prints and a knotted fringe. These are available in an rainbow of colors. This is a very different scarf from what we see in the States as a pashmina, which is a heavier wool blend fabric in a solid color. The going price is $2 each. I’m taking orders now! Please let me know whether you want jewel or tropical tones, and bright/pastel/subdued tints. I’ll see what I can gather up next Saturday.
There were other things that caught my eye. Lapis is apparently native in these parts, as I saw large chunks (larger than softballs) polished up (bookends? doorstops?) in addition to jewelry similar to what you see in the American Southwest.
There was a type of metalworking on offer too. I’m not sure exactly how these were created, but my guess is they are a brass hollowware, made in a relatively thin sheet (items were lightweight), enamelled in black, and then intricate designs (hand?) engraved through the enamelling so that the yellow brass design shows through the black ground. These items included vases and figurines in animal motifs.
I was just scouting, so I’ll be back next Saturday (water bottle in hand this time) for some more serious shopping.