We have expanded our scope to include documentation on craft traditions in the larger South Asian region, a decision influenced by the constant realization that cultural heritage and tradition in South Asia transcend contemporary political boundaries. We hope to create a context that encompasses the larger geographic and cultural region of which we are a part. This has been undertaken in collaboration with UNESCO, which has provided funding and support.
The countries included under the grouping 'South Asia' are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka contain a multi-layered collage of traditions and cultures. The Craft Revival Trust documentation concentrates on a particular aspect of this tradition, that is, the crafts and textiles within each entity. We have attempted as exhaustive a survey as was possible for us; however the information is far from 'complete' or 'comprehensive'.
We hope to continuously add to the documentation, thus increasing the information base, and enhancing the depth and relevance of the site. Do email in your feedback.
This material has been compiled from various published texts, books, and Tashi Delek magazines, conversations with Bhutanese people, dzongs, and museums where paintings and textile collections and crafts objects are on display and written accounts of the famous teschus or festivals and other rituals. This compilation was done by Ranjana Mohan of the Craft Revival Trust who traveled to Bhutan and also sourced a large range of secondary material. It is neither original nor complete. Only a Bhutanese can do justice to an incredibly beautiful country like Bhutan. Wherever we went we were impressed with the happy relaxed atmosphere at work, a strong sense of identity and the willingness of people to share and explain. Special thanks are due to the following persons for their time and encouragement:
- Mr Sanjay Acharya, for loaning us his personal books and getting us started.
- Mr Lungten Wangde, Managing Director, Handicrafts Development Corporation, and his staff for spending so much time with us, for patiently explaining the intricacies of the crafts of Bhutan, for showing us samples of each and allowing us to photograph them, and for taking us to various production units, weaving centres, and jewellery workshops.
- Mr Robin Wangdi, for his generosity and time; also for giving us a perspective of Bhutan we would never otherwise have got. Not least of all, for pushing us and telling us to get moving.
- Mangala Paper Factory and Jungshei Paper Factory, for explaining the process of paper making and allowing us to photograph the process.
- Mr Kelzang Lundrup for showing us his weaving workshop and explaining the different processes.
- Dasho Sangay Wangchuk and his staff at the National Commission for Cultural Affairs for meeting with us.
- Dasho Daw Dem, National Women's Association, of Bhutan for meeting with us.
- Mr Tshering Tobgay, Head, National Technical Training Authority, who impressed upon us his contention that Bhutan does not want to mass-produce and that, therefore, the focus will be on quality.
- Mr Kunzang Thinley, Head, The Folk Heritage Museum, for telling us not to worry too much with appointments - just barge in and meet people.
- Mr Singye Dorji, Head, The Textile Museum, for clarifying our doubts.
- Mr Jigme C Yezer, Principal, National Institute for Zorig Chusum, and his staff for showing us around.
- VAST, for showing us a more contemporary side of Bhutan.
Special thanks are also due to the staff at the following libraries: Crafts Museum Library, New Delhi; Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) Library, New Delhi; and the UNESCO Library, New Delhi.