Arts & Crafts

Arts & Crafts
The art and creativity of Bhutan is not inspired from the west. People of Bhutan do not try to adapt innovation and diversification in their art. All of their work is an adaption of their religious connection. Also, none of their art carry any signature of the artist. Artifacts of Bhutanese artist incorporate a tangible expression of their religious beliefs.

Bhutanese artform are not much studied and even art terminologies have not yet been solidified yet in the west. Even for the experts it is a very difficult job to distinguish the bhuddist inspired art of Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. The only difference is that bhutanese artist use vegetable dyes for their art and crafts.

There are 13 noteworthy different types of arts in Bhutan collectively called Zorig Chusum.
Let us know a bit about Zorig Chusum before you go and which part/tribe of Bhutan is famous for each.

This Buddhist art heritage can be encapsulated in 13 forms which are collectively called the Zorig Chusum (the 13 Traditional Arts and Crafts), as enumerated hereunder:

Shing zo

It is an traditional Bhutanese art where the master craftsmen or the Zow chen. They hire apprentice for a few years until they become master enough to design their own Dzong, temples and palaces.

Do zo

It is very common and old art form. All the Bhutanese buildings be it Dzong or farmhouse are built of stones. The best known example is of Chendebji chorten.

Par zo

Par zo which if translated means carving. It is carried out on wood, stone and slate. Bhutan has different kinds of wood naturally available. Woodcraving in Bhutan has seen various forms and styles. These wooden carvings are seen in the masks that people and artists wear during festivles and in temples apart from doors in Dzongs and houses.

Lha zo

The art of Bhutanese paintings which beautifully captures the Bhutanese landscape. Huge scrolls of thongdrols or thangkha depicts religious figures during religious festivals. It is believed that if someone view these huge scrools they are blessed for life.

Jim zo

Jim zo means clay work is an ancient craft. It has paved the way to sculpture works. Each monastery, Dzong and temple display it for pilgrims to pray and get inspiration.

Lug zo

Bronze casting was introduced by Newari artisans of Nepal in the 17th century. It started with casting bronze water bowls and statues but now it is an adapted art form of Bhutan.

Shag zo

Wood turning or Shag Zo, is practiced traditionally in eastern Bhutan. They fame wooden cups and bowls with knots. They are used as gifts and are very costly.

Gar zo

Black smithy introduced by Dupthob Thangtong Gyalpo in 14th century. He is known as the master engineer because of his skills. His works can still be witnessed during trekking in Paro or at the National Museum in Paro. It is now a dying art.

Troe ko

Ornaments making is still a vibrant art in Bhutan as the Bhutanese women are fond of ornaments. It involves the use of precious stones, corals, gold and silver.

Tsha zo

It is known as the art of weaving cane and bamboo products together.
De zo

Paper-making has its roots set in Bhutan. Paper is used for scriptures and text using gold or special Bhutanese ink.

Tshem zo

It is the art of embroidery or tailoring. It is mostly practiced by monks to depicts gods and saints through their art.

Thag zo

It is known as the art of weaving. It is widely practiced in Bhutan. Especially eastern Bhutan women are considered to be skilled at weaving. It is very highly prices as well.


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