Most Art and crafts serve the need of the local people. More sophisticated articles were acquired through imports. Village of Chilling nearly 19Kms up the River of Zanskar River from Nima where a community of metal workers carry on their ancestral profession, working with silver, brass and copper. These are said to be the descendants of artisans brought from Nepal during the mid-17th century to build one of the gigantic Buddha - images at Shey. They produce exquisite items for domestic and religious use, such as tea and chang pots, teacup-stands and lids, hookah-bases, ladles, bowls and occasionally, silver chortens for temples and domestic shrines. Special items like pure pashmina shawls, rough compared with those produced in Srinagar, and carpets with Tibetan designs. Similar carpets can also be purchased at the Tibetan Refugee Centre, Choglamsar. The Handicrafts Centre also has a department of thangka painting.
In summer, in the shady regions by the Indus and in Nubra, wool is spun and winter blankets are woven. As soon as wintry weather arrives , the clicking of needles accompanies the gentle growl of the heating stove. The dress of the men, a long robe of cotton or wool, the goncha, is dark, but those of the women are veritable masterpieces in blue, red and gold. Embroidered dresses and the ceremonial headgear, the perak, cover the resplendent backs with hair covered with turquoise.
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