Handmade Lokta/Daphne Paper

Handmade Lokta/Daphne Paper

The dense peaked landscapes of the mountainous region of Nepal are the habitat of the high attitude plant Daphne (lokta) which has been used for centuries for making paper. It is conjectured that the Chinese technique of paper-making was brought from Tibet over the ancient trade routes about a thousand years ago and that skilled Nepalese artisans have been producing paper and supplying the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries ever since. The Nepalese themselves have found myriad uses for this paper in their daily life - these include, among others, its use in writing manuscripts, printing sacred texts, inscribing valuable documents, making ritual masks, constructing kites, rolling incense, packaging, and wrapping precious stones (as its soft fibres do not scratch the surface). In many local communities all over Nepal, artisans have been making paper by hand for over a thousand years, using age-old labour intensive techniques. The paper-making industry is of crucial importance to the economy, since many families in the Himalayan foothills supplement their farming income with that from making paper.

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