As with all the zorig chusum, shingzo is a devotional act, which links the craftspeople to their personal deities. For centuries houses, palaces, dzongs, temples, bridges and utilitarian items for the home and the field have been and continue to be made of a combination of stone, rammed earth, bamboo and local timber or wood. Timber is used lavishly in all structures for windows, doors, stairs, balconies, columns, beams and other structural elements and for elaborate decorative cornices. It is this lavish use of timber, which gives Bhutanese architecture its beauty, elegance and unique character at the same time making these structures highly vulnerable to fire and degeneration.
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