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Arts and Crafts of Bhutan (Zorig Chusum: The Thirteen Traditional Crafts of Bhutan)

Thag-zo

Women of eastern Bhutan are skilled at weaving and some of the most highly prized textiles are woven by them. In the past, textiles were paid as a form tax to the government in place of cash and people from western Bhutan travelled all the way...
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Tsha-zo

Taking advantage of these abundant natural resources, the Bhutanese people have mastered the skill of weaving cane and bamboo products. Widely known as Tshar Zo, this art is spread throughout the country and products such as baskets, winnowers, mats...
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Shag-zo

The master craftsmen of this vibrant art are known as Shag Zopa. They are famed for the wooden cups and bowls traditionally known as dapas and phobs. These wooden bowls are made of special wooden knots known as Zaa and are highly valued. Until the advent ...
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Lha-zo

An ancient art that has been practiced since antiquity, paintings captures the imagery of the Bhutanese landscape. Master painters are known as Lha Rips and their work is apparent in every architectural piece from the massive Dzongs to glorious temples...
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Shing-zo

Shing-zo or carpentry plays a major part in the construction of Bhutan's majestic fortresses or dzongs, temples, houses, palaces and bridges....
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Do-zo

In Bhutan, temples, Dzongs, Chortens (or stupas) and farm-houses are all constructed using stone. Classic examples of stone work are those of Chorten Kora in Tashiyangtse in eastern Bhutan and Chendebji chorten in central Bhutan....
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Par-zo

Major carvings are carried out on stone, wood and slate. The traditional designs crafted on these materials create beautiful and distinctive art works unique to the Land of the Thunder Dragon. As Bhutan has been blessed with an exceptionally...
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Jim-zo

This art form preceded other sculpture works such as bronze and other metal works. Statues of deities, gods and goddesses and other prominent religious figures exemplify clay work in Bhutan. Every monastery, temple and Dzong in the country has intricately...
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Lug-zo

Bronze was commonly used to cast containers such as cups, urns, and vases. People also shaped bronze into weapons and armor such as battle-axes, helmets, knives, swords and shields. Bronze casting in Bhutan was introduced only in the 17th century...
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Gar-zo

It is believed that it was introduced by a Tibetan saint known as Dupthob Thangtong Gyalpo. He is revered by the Bhutanese people as a master engineer for his skill in casting iron chains and erecting them as bridges over gorges. He is supposed to have...
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Troe-ko

Its products are widely used by Bhutanese women. A master craftsman skilled in shaping beautiful ornaments is regarded as Tro Ko Lopen. Using precious stones and metals such as corals, turquoise, silver and gold, these master craftsmen create all manner ...
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De-zo

This traditional paper is made from the bark of the Daphne tree and was widely used in the past. Most religious scriptures and texts were written on Dezho using traditional Bhutanese ink or occasionally in gold. While the presence of readily available...
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Tshem-zo

This art can be broadly classified as Tshem drup the art of embroidery, lhem drup the art of applique and Tsho lham, the art of traditional Bhutanese boot making. The art of embroidery and applique are normally practiced by monks. Using this art they...
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