Listen to this story:

Afghanistan, Kandahar – In a small shop on a busy street in central Kandahar, Haji Muhammad Sultan is busy working.

Early in the morning in March, the bazaar outside is flooded with the first customers of the day. Inside the shop, you can barely hear the delicate tip of the Sultan’s chisel against the soft plaster inside the palm-sized brass mold. The Sultan gently holds the mold in his wrinkled hands and grinds away what is inside – a new set of teeth.

Once the plaster is removed, the Sultan gazes at his work and slowly flips the denture between his fingers. “They have to be perfect,” he says with a small smile.

The Sultan’s family denture business was founded 80 years ago in Afghanistan’s second largest city by his grandfather Haji Gul Muhammad. The Sultan, a resident of Kandahar will tell you, claims to be the first shop in the country, the only shop that makes handmade dentures.

Old photo of a man.
Haji Gul Muhammad started his family business 80 years ago after learning how to make dentures in India. [Courtesy of the family]

The Sultan’s father, Haji Nazar Muhammad, followed in his father’s footsteps, learning the craft from an early age. A 1998 photograph of the Sultan’s father by American photographer Steve McCurry, who has photographed the people and landscapes of Afghanistan for 35 years, shows a grey-bearded toothmaker sitting in his simple storefront in Kandahar. Shows. He is immersed in his delicate work, caressing his dentition in his hand. A black bicycle stands in front of a table lined with dentures.

Sultan continues the family legacy, continuing the business after his father passed away in 2008, making dentures on a wooden workbench pictured in McQuarrie’s photo.

Little does he know how widely McQuarrie’s photographs were viewed outside Afghanistan, but he remembers that the photographer took them.

With his white turban and long beard, the Sultan looks just like his father. “Sometimes people ask me if I am Haji Nazar Muhammad because I look like her father,” laughs the 65-year-old. “When my eldest son grows up, he will look just like me.”

Source link

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *