Tibetan art of Statue making
The Tibetan art of statue making is another significant intangible cultural heritage of Tibet. During the Seventh Century, Our Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo initiate establishment of Buddhism in Tibet. He marries princess Wencheng from the Chinese Tang empire and Princess Bhrikuti from Nepal. Each brought with them the two holiest statues of Buddha. In Lhasa, to house these two statues, the first two temples in Lhasa were commissioned. This elaborate project required skilled masters of many different crafts. This is the first time in Tibet in its history for construction of this magnitude, Artists was brought from Nepal and Tang to assist. This infusion of craftsmen laid a foundation for the Artistic tradition of Tibet and Tibetan art of Statue making, which would embellish and develop into a unique Tibetan style in the later generation.
Tibetan art of Statue making in one of the skills brought into Tibet during the construction of those Temples. Nowadays we use two materials to make a statue: clay and metal.
Just like other sacred arts, statues are made accordingly with the proportions of deities as they are laid out in scripture so they may be used as proper objects of meditation. The training of a statue-making artist to learn the Tibetan art of Statue making is much lengthier than that of a thangka artist, because not only must a statue-maker learn the proportions of deities in two dimensions, he must master the new portions of depth.
Metals sheets of copper are hammered on anvils into the shapes of the different parts. Then the Statue is assembled, To make more prominent statues, The copper sheets are worked from both sides, To create the exquisite detail such as facial features and folds in clothing, allowing the artist the ability to fashion completely life-like forms.
The sand casting process is used in creating smaller statues. First, the clay model of the figure will create to cast. A mold is then made of this model using the mixture of sand and hay. It is then filled with molten copper and let to dry. The clay model can be used multiple times, yet the new mold must be created for each new statue.
The statue is either gilded or polished to shine, after completion. In the gliding process, gold leaf is mixed with mercury and then melted together to form a paste. This paste is of silver color, and it is applied to the statue in an even coat. Lastly, the mercury if burned off with flame, and only the gold remains. Many coating must be used to get a better finish.
Cold gold paint is used for the faces, it has a matte look, and reflect lights in a different way than gilding similar to how skin does. Once the statue is finished, it then transfers to the Thangka painter, where the artist would add the finishing touches to the face to give the personality to the figure.
We believe that a statue only comes to life after it is consecrated by a high lame through appropriate ritual. In the ceremony, the figure is filled with many offerings of relics, precious stones, incenses and rolled mantras. The statue is then sealed. The power of blessing increase in sculptures and other work of religious art as it ages. With the accumulated energy of the people who pray and use it to aid for visualization during Meditation. The craftsmen aim to create a statue worthy of carrying great blessing and treasured and passed down the generations of believers.
During your Tibet tour with us, you will be visiting a handicraft center in Lhasa where you will see the craftsmanship of statue making. While you are on Tibet travel, we can also help you find the really great places to buy the authentic Tibetan statues.
I-Tibet travel and Tours is fully committed to responsible and Sustainable tourism practice in Tibet. Our privilege to be able to host you in Tibet also makes our responsibility in protecting nature and contributing back communities.
As a Local Tibetan travel agency in Lhasa. Our staffs are 100% local Tibetan tourism professionals. Additionally, We only use local Tibetan guides, other tours crews, and local business. 100% of the travel money goes to locals. Besides, We use 3% of the net profit into Environmental and social initiatives.
Being Tibetan, We know how vital the Tibetan environment is for the entire world. Mountains, glacier, and rivers are all cherished in our culture. We do our best to reduce the environmental impact of your tours in Tibet.
Following are Our ways:
a) No Small plastic bottles in the tour
All the drinking water are provided in the bigger container. So all visitors are asked to bring his/her own water bottle. In this way, we reduce hundreds and thousands of small plastic bottles. All the bigger containers are provided back to the manufacturer for reuse.
b) Incentives for practice
Incentives are given to guide and drivers. Who follow our strict directories on ethical practice towards sustainable and responsible tourism practice.
c) Staff Training every winter
Winter is a low season in Tibet tourism. We provide skill training required for the practice of Responsible and Sustainable tourism practice, first Aids and emergency first responder training. One of our managers is certified Humanity Supply Chain management by fritz institute. We work closely with individuals from institute like Tibet Eco Travel initiatives and Local Tibet Red Cross society and other NGOs.
d) Tree Plantation
Some portion of the tour money are save for our 1000 Tree plantation project. We will plant trees when we will have enough funds.
e) Smaller group size
All our tours are a small group to reduce environmental Impact. Since traveling in a smaller group has less impact on committed in an area than a big group. Therefore all our tour groups are small.
f) Trekking tours and environmental care in the wilderness of Tibet
During your trekking Tours, you will be walking across a very fragile ecosystem. We do take extra care in our trekking tours preventing environmental effects. Following are how are take care of our environment our trekking tours.
1: We nothing leave mother behind.
We make sure we take all our rubbish and leave nothing behind.
2: We protect the grassland
A little destruction of Tibet’s fragile environment is irreversible. So, in the trekking tours, we will not make drainage surrounding your tent. Instead, we will provide trekkers with a better tent with bathtub style floors which prevent water from getting into the tent. We don’t put a small tent toilet. Even if we try to put the grass back, it is not the same. So when you are answering your nature called please enjoy the view.
3: Collecting the garbage along the way.
We have a saying in Tibet, “if you can’t help, don’t harm.” Here is our helping part. We always have extra yaks carrying the Garbages, our yak men will be collecting while waiting for the clients at the campsite. Yak man walks faster than all, and they have free time at the camp. While cook prepares for meals and drinks, We pay yaks men’s incentives in collecting the rubbish around the camp.
I-Tibet travel and tours, identify its self as a social enterprise. For this, we dedicate 3% of our annual net profit to Social and environmental projects. Every winter we buy winter clothes for small children and donate to schools. In this way, besides donating winter cloth, we are also encouraging them to go to school.
It is important to make our guest understand Local Culture, Beliefs, and Ethics. Hence it will make it more comfortable during Our special tour arrangements. Like, your home visit, culture programs, and our others.