Easter is nearly here and we’re just in love with our handpainted Kashmiri Eggs! Handmade in Kashmir, India, our festive collection of floral papier mache eggs make a beautiful boho addition to any Easter feast.
So in all of our Kashmiri egg-citement, we decided to hunt down the histories behind these vibrant, vintage creations: Why the tradition of giving eggs at Easter? And how did the art of papier mache come about?
Giving eggs at Easter
Many cultures around the world regard the egg as an ancient symbol representing new life, fertility and rebirth. Indeed, the egg served as the emblem of spring in early pagan springtime festivals, while from a Christian perspective, the Easter egg symbolises the resurrection of Jesus.
It is believed the tradition of decorating eggs for Easter dates back to around the 13th century. The common explanation is that eggs, along with milk and meat, were once forbidden during Lent. As the fasting period came to an end, people would paint their eggs as a mark of celebration, then feast on their newly-decorated eggs at Easter.
A quick history of papier-mache
ISHKA handpainted Kashmiri Eggs are made from papier mache. While papier mache may have gained its name from the French, its origins began long ago on the other side of the world. China, the country that invented paper itself, has evidence of papier mache tracing back to the Han Dynasty (BC 202 – AD 220) when it was used, incredibly, to make helmets. Over time, interest in papier mache spread from China to Japan and Persia (modern day Iran), where craftsmen steadily mastered the art of making paper with various waste materials including rags and old fishing-nets.
In modern times, papier mache involves a mixture of paper and glue, or paper, flour and water, a mix that becomes hard when dry. Papier mache become known in the West when French craftsmen came to recognise its potential in craft-making, creating cups, frames and snuff boxes (ornamental boxes for storing scented tobacco) that were to become widely popular.
And as it turns out, papier mache is excellent for moulding eggs too!
Featuring handpainted floral motifs, our Indian Kashmiri Eggs combine charming vintage designs with vibrant, festive colours. Made using natural dyes and and finished with handrubbed lacquer, our decorative Kashmiri Eggs offer one thing chocolate eggs can’t - they last forever! Which suits all of us just fine :)
Shop our colourful Kashmiri Eggs here, or check them out in-store!