Daan –The Lost Heritage

Before the advent of technology in Kashmir, a mud stove called ‘daan ’ was perhaps exclusively used as a medium for cooking. The resulting charcoal from the burnt fuel wood would then be used in kangris the next morning. The purpose of these wasn’t/isn ’t just to cook though; they also served as water heaters for adjacent washrooms. A ‘ maet’(drum) was used for storing this water. This mud stove is also known as ‘Danbar ’in some parts of Kashmir. Interestingly enough, these also have ‘hobs ’ of sorts. Some have the space for two ‘tram e bane’, i.e., copper utensils to be kept on top at the same time, while others only have space for one. How these are traditionally cleaned is also fascinating. A cloth is dipped in a special red mud called ‘huyer myaech’and wiped across the ‘daan ’. This process is called ‘livun ’. They are still found in villages nowadays, although their usage as cookers has considerably decreased. Although replaced by electric heaters and gas stoves, these traditional stoves are undeniably unique.  Mundane for some, Daan still is a part of our contemporary cultural-history, carrying within  the unadorned tasks of the lives of our ancestors.

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