Bhutan : # 11 Bhutan Crafts

The Zorig Chusum School of Traditional Arts in Thimphu is a teaching institution where the arts and crafts of Bhutan are taught to the next generation of craftspeople.  The continuation of this important part of Bhutanese culture is therefore ensured.

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P1000642  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000642 © DY of jtdytravels

All signs in Bhutan are in English. Because there are many Bhutanese dialects,

English is taught in school and is the main language of communication.

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P1000643  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000643 © DY of jtdytravels

Learning woodcarving techniques requires time and infinite patience.

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P1000654  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000654 © DY of jtdytravels

Many sewing machines are used by the students to refine their embroidery techniques.

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P1000655  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000655 © DY of jtdytravels

Heavy-duty scissors are used to cut leather templates required to shape each piece of

embroidery and each colourful silk hanging.

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P1000656  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000656 © DY of jtdytravels

The school room was colourfully decorated with examples og the student’s work.

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P1000665  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000665 © DY of jtdytravels

Students in the painting class draw the outlines that will later be painted.

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P1000667  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000667 © DY of jtdytravels

Working with clay is an important part of creating idols used in Buddhist worship.

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P1000668  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000668 © DY of jtdytravels

Senior students create very complex and intricate statues.

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P1000669  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000669 © DY of jtdytravels

This piece appeared to have been damaged and sent to the school for repair.

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P1000650  ©  Dy  of  jtdtravels

P1000650 © DY of jtdytravels

This finished piece is being painstakingly repaired.

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P1000673  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000673 © DY of jtdytravels

 

Most, if not all the crafts, have a five year apprenticeship.

Senior students, like these, have a desk of their own with good window light.

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P1000674  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000674 © DY of jtdytravels

Palettes are generally messy but intriguing and colourful things.

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P1000677  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000677 © DY of jtdytravels

These girls are happily working in close proximity to each other.

Perhaps they are not very far into their apprenticeship.

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P1000679  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000679 © DY of jtdytravels

Extreme concentration is evident in this photo.

Note the thimble – made simply from a piece of cardboard.

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P1000683  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000683 © DY of jtdytravels

The National Library and Archives of Bhutan is near the Crafts School.

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P1000684  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000684 © DY of jtdytravels

This lidded wooden bowl is intricately painted.

It depicts various aspects of Bhutanese culture and the environment.

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P1000689  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000689 © DY of jtdytravels

The institution stores many valuable manuscripts including these Bhuddist mantras.

Carefully wrapped in silk cloth, the parchments are held between outer wooden protective boards.

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P1000690  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000690 © DY of jtdytravels

Taking photographs of statues of the various Buddhist deities are forbidden in temples.

However, in the museum this was allowed.

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P1000694  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000694 © DY of jtdytravels

Although the protective glass caused annoying reflections,

the intricate detail of the statues could be seen.

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P1000695  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000695 © DY of jtdytravels

Scholars at the Craft school aim to be able to make intricate works of art like this one.

P1000696  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000696 © DY of jtdytravels

Some of the colourful and grotesque masks made for the tourist trade.

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P1000871  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000871 © DY of jtdytravels

Full-sized masks are used in many of the dances performed on festival days.

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P1000872  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1000872 © DY of jtdytravels

It was good to experience some of this Bhutanese dancing and music.

More anon

David

Photography   Copyright  ©  David Young of jtdytravels

More of our travels stories and photographs can be found on

www.jtdytravels.com

and

www.jtlifesgood.wordpress.com

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