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Crafts & culture:

Arts and Crafts: The creative urges of the Bhutanese find expression in the arts and crafts. Zorig Chusum or the 13 aspects of Bhutanese arts and crafts includes shinzo (woodwork), dozo ( stonework), jinzo (clay crafts), lugzo (bronze casting), parzo (wood, slate and stone carving), lazo (painting), shagzo (wood turning) garzo (blacksmithy), troeko ( silver and goldsmithy), tsharzo (bamboo and cane crafts), dhezo (papermaking), thagzo (weaving) and tshemzo (tailoring).

The skill of the local craftsmen are manifested in the statues of the deities, doors and windows of the traditional houses, and in religious artefacts like bells, trumpets, and drums.

The country also has a rich and diverse range of carpets and traditional textile designs whose colours, weaves and textures have evolved over centuries. The Bhutanese people continue to wear the elegant national dress made from these traditional textiles, a kho for men and kira for women. These woven products are sold all over Bhutan.

Culture: Unlike many countries, traditional arts, age-old ceremonies, festivals, social conduct and structures are not remnants of a bygone age. Traditional arts and crafts are still practiced as they were done hundreds of years ago, vibrant festivals are celebrated and social principles like the Driglam Namzha (age old etiquette code of conduct) are still evident because they continue to have a special significance in the daily lives of the people.

Bhutanese language and literature, arts and crafts, drama, music, ceremonies and events, architecture, and basic social and cultural values draw their essence from Buddhism. Just as the Kingdom's history is characterized by religious landmarks, the influence of religion is highly visible in everyday life. Hundreds of sacred monasteries, stupas, religious institutions, prayer flags and prayer wheels mark the countryside, providing a strong infrastructure and atmosphere for the teachings of their living faith.

Bhutan's traditional culture is alive in its performing arts, such as dance and music which are an integral part of religious ceremonies. In addition, secular performances such as dance, songs, traditional instrumental music, drama based on biographies of religious personalities hold a special place in the lives of the people as they play an important role in national, village, or domestic functions and festivals. Bhutan's textile tradition has, in recent years, gone international. The distinct technique, color and style of indigenous Bhutanese wearing is being increasingly appreciated by textile specialists, collectors and users.

e-mail: norda@druknet.bt or karmawangmo@gmail.com
PO. Box 1419, Thimphu, Bhutan
Tel: 975-2-326818, 325743, 329116 and Fax : 975-2-326818