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News — Tribal Masks

Buddha Statues and Tibetan Masks in Nepal

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Buddha Statues and Tibetan Masks in Nepal

Heading off to Nepal next week with plans to spend two weeks trekking in Mustang, the remote Buddhist kingdom that sticks up like a thumb into Tibet. We'll trek between the villages on the old trade route between Tibet and Nepal that was used for hundreds of years by caravans of sheep and goats carrying salt and wool. That tradition ended when China invaded Tibet and effectively closed the borders, though a new road is now being built to connect Lhasa with Kathmandu. The way of life in Mustang, unchanged for hundreds of years, will shortly be changed forever. Mustang,...

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Magar Masks from Nepal

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Magar Masks from Nepal

Shamanist masks are used throughout the India Himalaya and Nepal. They represent animals, ancestors, deities and are worn at masked dance ceremonies so the wearer can to connect with the spirit, deity or caricature. They can be quite forbidding and tend to fall into two types - fierce or comic. Wooden masks are sometimes placed at strategic places around the village such as streams or wells to keep away bad spirits. Many Himalayan masks are Buddhist, others may represent figures from the Hindu epics such as the Ramayana or local pre-Buddhist spirits. Some masks conform to familiar stereotypes but others...

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India is a Treasure Store of Traditional Crafts

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India is a Treasure Store of Traditional Crafts

India is a treasure store of traditional crafts. For over 30 years we’ve been travelling to India and been amazed by the diversity of decorative skills. We’re gradually adding to this web site a beautiful collection of woodcarvings, embroidered cottons and woven silks. In addition there are metal, stone and other decorative and ritual items, silk weavings from Laos, paintings. Search our website for painted wooden shrines, a carved sandstone Buddha head, painted Tibetan door panels, Madhubani tribal paintings from Bihar, woven silk prayer flags and hangings from Laos, carved wooden mirror frames, a gilded wooden horse, vases and boxes...

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Wooden Carvings - Part of a Tradition

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Wooden Carvings - Part of a Tradition

Wood carving is an important decorative and cultural tradition in most parts of India. In the forested north, houses are wholly or partly built from timber and decorated with floral and geometric carving. 

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