Nepali handicraft “The history and current status”
The word ‘handicraft’ generally refers to the art of making craft. Nepal is a multi cultural country with vast diversity on itself. Nepal is a place where we can find different culture and religion within a certain distance over a place according to the caste system.
The evolution of Nepalese handmade craft cannot be explained in precision. But can be traced back to the Stone Age. The history of artistic handicrafts only began during the 5th century (A.D), when different religions began to form their bases among the people of Nepal. The cultural religious category (community) in Nepal is divided on the basis of work i.e. Brahmins (Priest), Kshatriyas (warriors and rulers), Vaisyas (skilled traders, merchants and minor officials), Sudras (unskilled workers), and Pariah (“Harijans” which are also known as “children of God” and outcastes, “untouchables”). So, we can see lots of verities on handicrafts according to the community. Thus, we see a lot of religious influence on Nepalese handicrafts which are Introduced by the Nordic aryans, mixed with different groups of Mongolians, protected by Buddhist and Hindus concepts adapted the taste of market.
The above figure represents the statue of Vajrasattva which is one of the antique craft of Nepal. Vajrasattva is traditionally viewed as the second patriarch, the first being Vairocana Buddha himself. Vajrasattva is used in the Ngondro, or preliminary practices, in order to purify the mind’s defilements, prior to undertaking more advanced tantric techniques.
Handicrafts reflect the pristine culture of the country. In traditional period, the crafts are made on the stone and wood of the temple with the religious values but now a day the crafts are not only made for temples. It has increases its value in decoration also, as for an interior decoration as well as a gifting purpose. It is believed that the traditional statue spreads positive vibes on surroundings. Which has also increases the import export of the handmade figurines internationally and increased even the economic values.