Handicrafts | Hand Forging

Object

Object Title
Object Description



Bhutanese military equipment

Chain mail, iron, leather; size: 120 x 85 cm; loan from the National Museum, Paro
The workmanship of the chain mail reflects a strong Moghul metalworking influence.

 
The Shabdrung as warlord
Sword of a noble man

Sword with scabbard and belt, iron, silver, partly gilded; textile, L: 89,5cm; loan from the National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside, Liverpool
The sword is worn attached to a belt decorated with fine silver buckles. Besides being used in war, swords were previously worn as a prestigious symbol of the nobility. Today only those who are knighted as Dasho* (Senior Officer) by the king are allowed to carry one.

 
Blacksmithy
Fibulas

Fibula (tinkhab), silver with traces of fire-gilding, turquoise; L: 21 cm
Chain: length: 24 cm; ring: 6,5 cm x 5 cm; loans from a private collection
These fibulas are of royal family provenance. They are to fasten the ladies' wrapover dress (kira*) at the shoulders. The two rings are worked as a couple of fish, a Buddhist symbol of the skill to swim through the ocean of the cycle of rebirths with the help of the Buddhist teachings.

 
Jigme Dorje Wangchuck
Status symbol

Sword with scabbard and belt, iron, silver, partially gilded, textile; L: 89,5 cm; loan from the National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside, Liverpool
The sword is worn attached to a belt decorated with fine silver buckles. Next to their useful value at war, swords used to be seen as status symbol of the aristocracy. Today only those who are knighted as Dasho* (Senior Officer) by the King are allowed to wear it.

 
King and state
Tools for the fire sacrifice

Ritual tools for the fire-sacrifice ceremony (gangzar ganglu), Blades: burnished iron with copper insets, handles: silver with gold-plating, stems: nielloed iron with silver and gold applications, knobs: silver or copper with gold-plating, box: wood and velvet; L: 94 cm, B: 26,5 cm; loan from the Punakha Dzong
The offering of fire sacrifices pleases the deities who support the believers. In a pragmatic interpretation they should help the humans to attain wisdom or religious merit, or to remove obstacles in life and on the way to enlightenment.

 
The fire ceremony
Bhutanese Weapons for Warfare

Swords, iron blades, silver and brass handles, wooden sheath covered with hide, casing made of wool and cotton, length 93 centimeters; on loan from Tobgye S. Dorje
As real weapons of war these swords have served their duty. Today, however, for the protective deities they are still stored in special altar rooms. During certain rituals they are used for war dances.

 
The Course of the Ritual
Drinking Vessels

Bamboo, brass, leather; height 37,5 centimeters, diameter 14 centimeters and height 22,5 centimeters, diameter 12 centimeters; on loan from the Völkerkundemuseum der Universität Zürich
From these vessels primarily alcoholic drinks are poured into a bowl or are sipped through bamboo straws.

 
West and Central Bhutan
Teapot

Copper, brass, silver; measurements 41 x 42 centimeters; on loan from the National Museum Paro
The dragon-shaped handle is made of chased brass and silver. The spout depicts a horned Makara, an animal which is associated with the ocean and which originated in Indian mythology. It embodies the life-giving force of water and should protect against misfortune. This pot was owned by royalty.

 
The Western Valleys
Ritual Dagger

Handle: brass, blade: iron; length 20 centimeters; on loan from a private collection
Ritual daggers, made of iron, are used for the symbolic killing of demons.

 
The Bumthang Province
Sword

Silver, iron, animal skin; length 80 cm; on loan from a private collection
Until the beginning of the 20th century swords like this one were used as battle weapons by aristocratic, high-ranking officers. Today, only political dignitaries carry swords on official occasions. Pieces of this quality have been handed down from father to son for generations.

 
Against the British



The Vienna Exhibition
Handicrafts
.  Wood and Slate Carving
.  Painting
.  Papermaking
.  Bronze Casting
.  Wood Turning
.  Carpentry
.  Hand Forging
.  Masonry
.  Bamboo and Cane Work
.  Weaving
.  Sewing
.  Metal-Work
.  Pottery
.  Imported Objects
.  Everyday-Life Objects


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