handicraft is entirely based on the mobilization
of local resources, skills and labor. Thus, it
is one of Nepals most important industries as
it has a wide international market. The craftsmen
have to be born into a family of the similar kind
of craftsmen. The great skills, passed on from
generation to generation, allow the craftsmen
to produce the finest hand crafted goods. The
tools used for making these goods and the designs
are often unaltered in spite of the advent of
new technologies. The different forms of craftsmanship
are deeply rooted in Nepali society and culture.
These articles displaying exotic craftsmanship
are divided into- the articles of daily use, are
produced in bulk and of uniform quality, and the
articles of aesthetic value, are most influenced
by the Buddhist iconography of the tantric Vajrayana
These crafts are grouped as follows:
- Metal crafts made of brass,
bronze, copper, aluminium and alloys. E.g- Pots,
Khukuri (a traditional Nepali knife), plates,
- Crafts made of wood like teacups,
bowls, coffee-tables, etc.
- Woolen goods like pashmina shawls,
jackets, shirts, bags, etc.
- Cotton handloom products.
- Products made of bamboo and
- Products made of Jute, hemp
and other fiber.
- Leather products.
And other miscellaneous products
like incense sticks, cotton shoes, etc.
Some very well known handicraft
Filigree : filigree
or the studding of metals with different stones
or glass. This is usually done with silver or
brass as a base metal. Today, filigree is not
just done in jewelry but also in different other
articles like ashtrays, jewelry boxes, etc.
Pottery : Clay
pots, flower vases, ashtrays, candle-stands, masks,
etc were made for daily use but today they are
also noted for export.
Wooden crafts : Carvings
done on wood are very famous in Nepal. They are
not only well known for the intricacy of the carvings
but also for their social and religious importance.
These carvings done on windows, doors, pillars,
etc give an aura of eternal bliss or Nirvana.
The best places to see these carvings
are temples, monasteries, palaces and other old
Traditional painting : 'Thanka`s'
and 'Paubaha`s', the most famous traditional paintings
are painted in various sizes, shapes and colours.
They are painted on cloth, with paint made from
seven parts chalk and three parts glue, and polished
with a conch shell. These paintings often depict
scenes from the ancient Buddhist tantric culture
or the emanations of various Buddha`s.
Metal-craft : Metal-crafts
have a very old history in Nepal and thus are
very well developed. There are different 5th century
coins, 7th to 15th century statues, etc displayed
in different museums and temples, which gives
testimony to the fact that it has been a part
of Nepali way of life for a long time. The different
forms of this craft are still produced by age-old
methods in different parts of Nepal.