Blacksmithing – A Vanishing Art Form.

Email

Blacksmithing is a dying art. There are only a few blacksmiths in Tsirang today.

Padam Lal Biswa, 59, is one of the most sought after metal workers in Tsirang. (Source: http://www.kuenselonline.com)

 

He was about 14 when he first laid his hands on the hammer and anvil. By helping his father, he learnt the art of shaping household tools out of metal pieces.

Today, Padam Lal Biswa, 59, is one of the most sought after metal workers in Tsirang. He spends most of his time in his workshop beating metal and designing different types of weapons. He makes sickles, patangs, khukuris and spades, among others.

Behind his house in Tsholingkhar-toed is a hut. It is his workshop, a simple affair, with an old bellow, a few hammers and some blacksmithing tools.

“This workplace was designed during my grandparents’ time,” he said.

A vanishing form of art

Blacksmithing is a dying art. There are only a few blacksmiths in Tsirang today.

Padam Lal has 100 sickles to make.  He received the order from Gelephu. He also has an order for 10 patangs, two of which he has already finished making.  At his age, he can only manage about three sickles a day.

At a tender age of eight, he used to make at least a dozen farm tools a day. But after he fractured his right hand in 2001 from falling off a roof, his performance at work declined drastically.

He is also a certified Level 2 metalworker recognised by the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources.

Difficulty in finding youth to pick up blacksmithing skills

Padam Lal said that blacksmithing is a vanishing form of art and that youths are not interested in it. “I’m ready to teach all my skills to any interested learners, but no one seems to like this job,” he said. “I’m afraid this art will die with me.”

Padam Lal makes roughly Nu 15,000 a month. Sometimes, his monthly income crosses Nu 30,000.

He has four sons; two have picked up the art. “They work only in my absence. Otherwise, they are occupied with other works,” he said.

 

By Nirmala Pokhrel (This article has been edited for the Daily Bhutan)

This article first appeared on Kuensel.


Tag Cloud

Related Posts

Traditional Process of Dyeing Woollen Yarns at Risk of Dying Out

The traditional method of dyeing woollen yarns to weave Yathra in Bumthang is hardly practiced today. Yathra weaving is...

Oct 13, 2017 06:44

Preserving Bhutan’s Music and Traditions

“Bhutan is developing at a faster pace; traditional customs are not. We need to balance these developments. We are...

Sep 28, 2017 11:28

National Geographic Photo Camp Team Trained Some Bhutanese On...

Around twenty participants were trained on story-telling through photography at a photo camp from 9-14 March.

Mar 23, 2019 16:08

Bhutan Addressed Climate Change Concerns With Foreign Delegates...

Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering said at the Round Table Meeting that climate change is real and efforts must be made...

Mar 22, 2019 18:45

It Is International Day Of Happiness: How Will You Be?

Christopher Boyce left home in the UK over 500 days ago and covered 20,000kms to get to Bhutan by cycling.

Mar 20, 2019 17:22

From Bhutan To College Campuses, Calculating Forests Into The...

Forests are part of literal equations for personal and societal happiness.

Mar 20, 2019 14:10

Latest

News

Ten Years Since The Inception Of Democracy, Bhutan Has Made Steady Progress In Human Development

The National Human Development Report highlights positive results during ten years of democracy in Bhutan.

Mar 21, 2019 15:08

Tiger Numbers Increase In Bhutan

As the world tries to double tiger number from where it was in 2010, Bhutan’s increase in tiger numbers shows that at least one country is...

Mar 19, 2019 14:18

Features

National Geographic Photo Camp Team Trained Some Bhutanese On Story-telling Through Photography

Around twenty participants were trained on story-telling through photography at a photo camp from 9-14 March.

Mar 23, 2019 16:08

Bhutan Addressed Climate Change Concerns With Foreign Delegates At The 14th Round Table Meeting

Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering said at the Round Table Meeting that climate change is real and efforts must be made to reduce its impact.

Mar 22, 2019 18:45

Sports

Bhutan To Hold First 'Sports And Culture Festival' For Runners And Cyclists

There are two tiers to the event, comprising of a full-race distance of 50km and a half-race of 25km.

Mar 06, 2019 17:14

Bhutan’s HRH Princess Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck Attended The General Assembly of the Asian Paralympic Committee In Dubai

The General Assembly is the highest decision making body of the Asian Paralympic Movement.

Feb 08, 2019 18:15

Business

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Sonam Lhamo Of Bumthang Milk Processing Enterprise

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 18, 2019 10:19

Need For More Women Entrepreneurs To Partake In Bhutan’s Economic Development

The 2018 Global Gender Gap Report has ranked Bhutan 122nd out of 149 countries on a global index.

Mar 14, 2019 20:54

Travel

Tourists Visiting Bhutan Can Look Forward To Exciting Heli-Biking And Heli-Hiking Services

Heli-Biking and Heli-Hiking services are in the pipeline to attract more tourists to visit the remote parts of Bhutan.

Mar 20, 2019 20:18

50 Years Since The Renovation Of Tashichhodzong - Fortress Of The Glorious Religion In Bhutan

In the fifty years since its renovation, the Tashichhodzong remains an architectural marvel.

Mar 17, 2019 11:08

Lifestyle

Food Review: Cloud9 Cafe & Bar

Cloud9 has always been known in Thimphu for dishing out handcrafted gourmet burgers.

Mar 09, 2019 09:44

Tshering Zangmo Represents Bhutan At The 5th Young Chef Olympiad In India

Tshering Zangmo has successfully made it to round two of the Olympiad.

Feb 04, 2019 16:35

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!