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.

Ritu Rock Carving Site, Yaowangshan Rock Carving Site, and Zaxi Cave Rock Carving Site are three Tibetan rock carvings sites. Ritu Rock Carvings site in the Ngari area boasts hundreds of rock carvings, whose contents include hunting activities, war and fighting, religious ceremonies, and dancing scenes. The major color there is red. The style is characterized by simple compositions drawn using simple techniques. Yaoshanwang Rock Carvings site is in the Yaowangshan Mountains near Lhasa. The rock carvings have been produced mostly in modern times. The images are mostly religious figures. Zaxi Cave Rock Carvings are found on the east side of Namtso Lake in the Nagqu area. These carvings are found in eight natural caves. Most of the carvings are colored in red. There are images of animals, human, sun, and pagodas.

Black stone can be found in the homes of many ordinary Tibetans because it is seen as a propitious stone capable of driving away evil and attracting good fortune. Such stones are not very expensive as they are carved by machine. The most common rock carvings are Mani stones. The subjects of Mani stone carvings are usually sutras, designs, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas. Sometimes the images are carved at the request of the relatives of the dead people to release souls from purgatory. Usually, the contents are decided by a Shaman. Mani stone carving differs significantly from place to place. Those from western Tibet are said to have an elegant flavor, while those in eastern Tibet have an air of antiquity.

Our Other Post on Tibetan Art & Crafts


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. 

The Art of Tibetan Statue

The Art of Tibetan Statue making can be categorized into two major schools: 1) exotic statues (from outside Tibet or influenced by outside Tibet); and 2) local Tibetan statues.

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. 

Tibetan Jewelry

Tibetan jewelry and ornaments include 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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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