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Himalayan Tribal Art |Tibetan Furniture UK |Himalayan Jewellery

This page was updated February 2008
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Tribal art in the Himalayas is associated with indigenous shamanism, and many of the shamanistic rites have continued alongside the Buddhist and Hindu rituals, after the introduction of these religions into the region. The most characteristic form of tribal art is the wooden masks and figures found in the Western regions of Nepal, also known as the "Middle Hills". In these areas, the local shaman would advice effigies to be made to protect the family house, water springs, bridges, and other strategic points in the life of the local community. Masks were a special feature of certain shamanistic rites and also used in traditional dramas, plays and dances. The mountain regions tend to be inhabited by different ethnic groups, prevalently Buddhist. From these regions we have included masks used in Cham, ritual Buddhist dances, carved altars, etc. Moving away from the "primitive" tribal art, one also finds elaborately carved Gurung beds and a more simple variety from the hills around Pokhara. In the Terai, as one would expect due to the close proximity of its huge neighbour, the art is highly influenced by India. Particularly interesting are the windows, carved with human or animal figures, and geometric motifs.
Reccommended books:
Himalaya: le visage des dieux. Musee departemantal de Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye Isere, 1995 by Eric Chazot.
A Masque Decouvert: Regards sur l'art primitif de l'Himalaya. Stock/Aldines, by Marc Petit


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Tribal 6
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