Tibetan Art and Crafts

More than a thousand years, Tibetan artists have played a very important role in the cultural life of Tibet. From designs for painted furniture to elaborate murals in religious buildings, their efforts have permeated virtually every facet of life on the Tibetan plateau. Nevertheless, apart from the petroglyphs of Rutok and the Jangtang, which have not yet been accurately dated, there is little evidence of Tibetan art prior to the seventh century. The earliest surviving examples so fully absorbed the impact of the surrounding artistic traditions that it is difficult to discern pre-Buddhist elements, should an earlier, purely indigenous tradition be found to exist.

Due to Tibet’s vast geographic area and its many adjacent neighbors including India and Kashmir, Nepal, the northern regions of Burma (Myanmar), China, and Central Asia (Khotan)—are reflected in the rich stylistic diversity of Tibetan Buddhist art, during the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, Pala India became the main source of artistic influence. In the thirteenth century and thereafter, Nepalese artists were also commissioned to paint Thangka and make Sculptures for Tibetan patrons. By the fourteenth century, stylistic influences from Nepal and China became dominant, and in the fifteenth century, these fused into a truly Tibetan synthesis.

The Art of Tibetan Medicine is the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary exploration of the triangular relationship among the Tibetan art and science of healing (Sowa Rigpa), Buddhism, and arts and crafts. This book is dedicated to the history, theory, and practice of Tibetan medicine, a unique and complex system of understanding body and mind, treating illness, and fostering health and well-being.

Generously illustrated with more than 200 images, Bodies in Balance includes essays on contemporary practice, pharmacology and compounding medicines, astrology and divination, history and foundational treatises. The volume brings to life the theory and practice of this ancient healing art.

Thangka

Tibetan scroll painting or “Thangka” belong to the rich Tibetan cultural heritage and are an integral part of many public and private collection of Asian Art in the western world. Their existence is linked to the introduction of Buddhism in Tibet in the 7th century, although the earliest known examples date from the 13th century.

The Art of Tibetan Statue

Tibetan Buddhist statues can be categorized into two major schools: 1) exotic statues (from outside Tibet or influenced by outside Tibet); and 2) local Tibetan statues. Both can be further divided into more specific genres. Styles from different schools and periods can be seen at places like the Sakya MonasterySamye Monastery, and Potala Palace. The main exotic styles are East Indian statues, Kashmir statues, Nepalese statues, and Yong Xuan statues (statues prevalent at the Chinese royal court in the age of Emperor Yongle and Xuande in the Ming Dynasty in the early 15th century.

Tibetan Stone and Rock Carvings

Tibetan Stone and Rock Carvings: Tibet is in rich repositories of culturally significant stone and rock carvings. When you are traveling in Tibet, you will find stone and rock carvings everywhere. Such images include those of animals, human figures, gods, plants, utensils, buildings, symbols, and natural objects. About 80 percent of old rock carvings of animals and hunting scenes and the daily life of the nomadic people.

Tibetan Pottery Wares

Pottery in Tibet has a more than 5000-year history. Neolithic pottery pieces and unbroken pottery wares unearthed at Karub ruins in Qamdo are the earliest pottery ware crafts ever discovered in Tibet. The patterns were of the objects were made by pasting, carving and drawing. They are mainly woven patterns, labyrinth-patterns, water streaks, lozenges, and straight lines, appearing in the middle part of the body of the ware. The pottery jars with either single ear or double ears were beautifully built and finely worked.

Tibetan Jewelry

Tibetan ornaments and jewelry includes as rings, bracelets, necklaces, made of red and yellow coral, Tibetan carnelian, yak bones, Tibetan silver, Tibetan copper, turquoise, and other natural materials joined together with yak-hide string. The most common Tibetan ornaments are broad and delicately designed silver bracelets, peacock-blue yak-boned necklaces inlaid with turquoise, and dangling earrings made of red coral and Tibetan silver.

Tibetan Weaving

The history of Tibetan Rug making dates back to some fifteen hundred years but a standard piece from that date is virtually nonexistent these days. Rugs in Tibet historically were practical, everyday objects, woven locally for use in homes and monasteries as saddle covers, sleeping mates, window coverings and other utilitarian purposes where they would over time wear out and be discarded.

Tibetan knife

Tibetan Knife is an indispensable tool for Tibetan people, who use it to cut meat, to defend themselves, and for other purposes. It is also one of the most representative handicrafts made by Tibetan people. Many Tibetans wedge their knives into their waistbands and have been used in livelihood, and for self-defense and decorative functions.

Tibetan Tailoring

Tibetan tailoring possesses a unique skill and experiences. During the old times, Tibetan clothes are made by hand and take many days to complete a set. Tibetan tailors or öla in Tibetan hold important social values in Tibetan society and they are well-respected groups, and it is quite common for the monks to engage in handicraft skills such as sewing and tailoring. But nowadays, the tailors in contemporary Tibet are mostly using modern advanced sewing tools and equipment.

Our Other Post on Tibetan Culture & Customs

Tibetan Poeple

Tibetan People: The racial origins of the Tibetans are little known and remain a matter of scientific speculations. The written history of Tibet started 1400 years ago. 

Tibetan Language

Tibetan Language: Language is considered the very important aspect of Tibetan culture & custom. Tibetan language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman group of languages and is spoken by around eight million people.

Traditional Clothing in Tibetan Culture

Tibetan traditional clothing has a strong connection with the people and the climate of the Tibetan plateau.  They tend to be conservative in their dress, and though some have taken to wearing western clothes, traditional styles still abound, especially in rural and nomadic villages. 

Tibetan Cuisine

In Tibetan culture, cuisine includes the culinary traditions and practices of Tibet and its peoples. It reflects the Tibetan landscape of mountains and plateaus and includes influences from neighbors

Tibetan Architecture

Tibetan architecture contains Chinese and Indian influences but has many unique features brought about by its adaptation to the cold, generally arid, high-altitude climate of the Tibetan plateau.

Tibetan Song and Dance

Tibetan song and dance:  Singing and dancing are an integral part of every Tibetan’s life. Tibetan people sing and dance for nearly every event: weddings, social gatherings, and just for fun.

Tibetan Opera

Tibetan opera, Ache Lhamo, which means Fairy in Tibetan, is the traditional opera of Tibet. The first opera troupe in Tibet was founded in the Ngamring area during the 15th century by Thangtong Gyalpo.

Tibetan Marriage Custom

In Tibetan culture, Marriage custom is an important part of all the lay people everywhere and likewise, Tibetans also consider it as a very auspicious and important event. 

Traditional Tibetan Medicine

Traditional Tibetan Medicine is commonly known as “Sowa Rigpa” is a very ancient medical system based on Buddhist philosophy and psychology, considered to be one of the oldest, living and well documented medical tradition from the world over.

Tibetan Astrology

Tibetan Astrology is an important part of Tibetan culture. It is interwoven into daily life and provides guidance for major decisions. It is also the complement to Tibetan Medicine; astrology provides the wisdom,

Sky Burial

Tibetan Funeral Customs: Tibetan Buddhists believe life is not over at death, but merely entering a rebirth. Monks emphasize this cyclical nature of existence to dispel the fear of death in Tibetan society and help people prepare for a new beginning.

Khata

A khata is a traditional ceremonial or offering scarf used widely in Tibetan culture and in Tibetan Buddhism for different purposes.

Tibetan Prayer flags

Tibetans hang prayer flags on all passes, bridges and on the roofs of houses. These flags are unique to Tibetan Buddhism and they have a history well over a thousand years old.

About Us:

Tibet Universal Tours and Travel is a fully officially licensed international tour operator based in Lhasa, owned and managed by 100% local Tibetans. One of the most respected, longest running and best-reviewed tour operators since 1997.

Over 20 years of experience in the Tibetan travel industry, our team consists of the best and experienced Tibet travel guides that will show you the best that this extraordinary place has to offer, unravel all the undiscovered beauty of Tibet unique culture and tradition in front of you.  Whether a guest is looking to join a Tibet group tour or take a private tailor-made journey, we are the best choice.

Other than the above services, we provide stop over tour services in Nepal, Bhutan, and cities in Mainland China, you can also be booking your Tibet Flight and Tibet Train tickets with us. So, what are you waiting for? Reach us to embark on a trip that will last for a lifetime with Tibet Universal Tours and Travel!!!

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