Handicraft is any types of work where useful and decorative products are made completely by hand or just using some simple tools. Handicrafts in Nepal have their own significant norms and values with the blend of spirit and mystery of Nepalese cultures and traditions. Nepal is the birth place of Araniko, a famous artist of late 12th century. He is the one who had introduced pagoda style architecture in China so he is known as key figure in Chinese culture.
There are many temples around the Kathmandu valley. These temples and statues of gods and other figures are simply standards of the perfection of handicrafts. And they have their own story. Each crafted object, shaped and reshaped carefully results in unique art piece that are slightly different from others. Because two hand made products cannot turn out to be exactly same. In Nepal’s cultural history, handicraft has been a skill that has been handed over through the generations. Today many people business thrive with the export and selling of handicraft products ranging from metal statues of gods to woollen carpets.
Nepal is a place where we can find different culture and religion within a certain place according to the caste. So, we can find varieties on handicrafts according to community. During traditional period crafts were made on the stone and wood of the temple with religious value. But nowadays value of craft has increased as they are used for interior decoration as well as gifting purpose. On current context of Nepal, handmade craft products are the major source of income.
Some types of handicrafts in Nepal are listed below:
The three cities of Kathmandu i.e. Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu itself has breathtaking architecture of palaces and temples which is also one of the reason tourists visits these places. These culturally distinctive places contain wooden, brick and stone temples. The intricate and artistic carvings of the Hindu deities and religious motifs are made in the pillars, brackets, struts, beam frames of the peristyles, window and door frames. Nepal is a treasure trove of woodcarving through rich traditional knowledge of Nepali art and architecture in wood.
Ceramics handicraft is a modern form of traditional clay handicraft. The glazing and coloring process make the ceramic handicrafts different from traditional ones. Ceramic handicraft is only two decades old in Nepal and is mostly manufactured in Bhaktapur and Thimi. The filtered plastic clay is usually brought in bulk from valleys like Dang. Then they are given various shapes using hand with the help of spinning wheels and different designs are created. Then the products are left to dry in the sun and fired in a downdraft kiln. And finally, the pieces are glazed using different color chemicals and fired again to give a final glaze.
Even today the city of Patan is the center of metal craft. Metal crafts are seen at most every nook and corner especially at old palace and the hundreds of temples and stupas. It considered as one of the major handicrafts of Nepal. They are produced totally by hand with traditional techniques. Through this methods traditional wares like utensils, singing bowls, brass and copper kitchen wares, bells, Tibetan metal crafts, Buddha images, khukuris, etc are prepared which are exquisite and intricate.
In Nepal, ancient religious manuscripts and sacred texts were almost always written on Lokta paper and till date. The making of Lokta paper most commonly known as rice paper or Nepali kaagaz, represents a traditional craft that has been passed down for generations. Designer lampshades, wall-paper, photo albums, frames and even curtains made of Lokta paper are found which provides beautifully textured surfaces.
Hence these are some types of Handicrafts in Nepal.