(Last Updated on : 06/10/2014)
The hilly North-Eastern state of India
not only offers its visitors a treat for the eyes but beautiful crafts to take back home to keep the memory of the visit alive. It is known for some magnificent craftwork like woven woollen carpets
, tables called choktse, hand made paper, woollen blankets and traditional motifs of unique designs.
One of the traditional practices of Sikkim is carpet weaving. The women of Sikkim are known to be the oldest weavers in the world. The women of Bhutia community are experts in this craft. The warp is created from cotton
and is stretched on a frame. The woollen thread is introduced and a long metal rod is laid along the wrap threads. Different colours of wool and rods are used in the pattern. After three to four rods, the loops are cut and a pile is created. The patterns commonly employed are stylish floral motifs or dragon holding a ball in his mouth. Geometrical patterns, patterns from the Buddhist iconography and designs representing nature are also quite common. The carpets of Sikkim are renowned for their woollen textures, which is durable, plush and dyed in traditional vegetable
Woollen Handlooms Products
: Woollen handloom products of Sikkim are affordable, fashionable and at the same time warm. The shawls
with Sikimese motifs like dragons, prayer wheels and natural sceneries are quite popular among the tourists. Kukri or the Gurkha blade as it is known is equally popular among the people. People of Sikkim believe in recycling some of their woollen products which help them to save money and do fashion at the same time. They intelligently design the old and used woollen blanket into bags, shawls, jackets and many dolls.
Thangka painting is another craft of Sikkim which is well known for its artistic value and religious significance. The subject of these paintings revolves around the life of Buddha
and his teachings. There are generally three types of thangkas. The first type depicts scenes from Lord Buddhas life. The second type talks about general belief of Buddhist people about life. And the third type of painting is used for meditation and as an offering to gods
. Thangka paintings are designed on cotton
canvas with vegetable
dyes as colours. In the earlier days, the making of Thangkas was limited to monks and priests only. But now other communities
are also showing interest in Thangka paintings.
Sikkim is also popular for its elegant wood craving
. Monasteries in Sikkim are the best places to see the creativity of wood carvings. The walls of the monasteries feature wood engrossed with symbols and icons from Buddhism
. Also the masks
worn during various performances are generally made of wood which exhibit intricate decorations. Wood made Choktse tables of Sikkim are also popular. These tables are foldable and have some beautiful designs made on all the sides.
All these above mentioned crafts of Sikkim have a relatively good demand in India as well abroad. They are prepared in various designs and shapes.