Amazing authentic handmade products of rural Bhutan
Zorig Chusum –
the 13 arts and crafts of Bhutan
Promoting handicrafts as an integral aspect of Bhutanese culture and heritage
HANDICRAFTS ASSOCIATION OF BHUTAN
The Handicrafts Association of Bhutan (HAB) promotes the work of local artisans in markets within Bhutan and internationally. The HAB organizes trainings and seminars to enhance the skills of indigenous craftspeople and provides resources to support local artisans within their communities at the grassroots level, while opening avenues and providing exposure for them in core tourist hubs.
In doing so, HAB helps both rural and urban artisans produce superior handmade crafts while creating a network that encourages sustainable production while improving market accessibility and better prices for their goods.
There are 1,700 artisans registered with HAB and 195 locally affiliated stores and outlets, which display and trade over 100 different varieties of traditionally handmade crafts.
13 ARTS & CRAFTS OF BHUTAN
The origins of Bhutanese arts and crafts go back to the 15th century. Two hundred years later, in the 17th century, they were first categorized as Zorig Chusum or the 13 arts and crafts of Bhutan. Today, this invaluable tradition and heritage is best preserved in the rural areas where artisans inherit the skills passed down through generations like a precious heirloom.
Even today, in a remote hamlet called Khoma in Lhuentse, girls as young as eight learn the art of weaving Kisuthara or silk patterns. As they grow up, their skills translate into elaborate magic. In rural Trashiyangtse, the exquisite wooden bowls chiseled from the burl of trees are a painstaking work of craft that are also associated with healing spiritual properties. Elsewhere in Bhutan, there is an artist, with a brush in hand, meticulously working on a thangka or religious scroll with the minutest details of symmetry in mind.