Blacksmithing – A Vanishing Art Form.

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 Bhutan Times)

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

Bhutan's climb to medicines safety

Pharmacovigilance is the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of...

Jul 17, 2018 14:31

11th Golden Youth Award Camp Aims To Inspire Bhutanese Youth To...

The camp’s theme ‘Celebrating Unity for Excellence’, is a pledge by the youth to be advocators and agents of peace,...

Jul 12, 2018 16:14

Asian Development Bank: Bhutan Among Fastest Growing Economies In...

In 2018, Bhutan’s GDP is projected to grow by 7.1 percent, the second highest growth after India (7.3 percent).

Jul 10, 2018 18:48

How Bhutan Has Changed Me: Dr Adrian Chan

Dr Adrian Chan has served the Kingdom of Bhutan since 2013. He moved here in 2015 to be the resident faculty in RIGSS.

Jul 06, 2018 14:26

Latest

News

Drukair Orders New Aircraft That's Equipped With Latest Visual Technology

The new ClearVision technology on the aircraft allows pilots to get a clear picture of the runway while landing the aircraft.

Jul 19, 2018 12:47

After 9 Years, The Amochhu Bridge In Bhutan Finally Opened On 14 July 2018

The driving distance between Phuentsholing and Samtse is now reduced to 57km from 81.2km

Jul 18, 2018 14:57

Features

Bhutan's climb to medicines safety

Pharmacovigilance is the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse drug...

Jul 17, 2018 14:31

11th Golden Youth Award Camp Aims To Inspire Bhutanese Youth To Excel Holistically

The camp’s theme ‘Celebrating Unity for Excellence’, is a pledge by the youth to be advocators and agents of peace, harmony and...

Jul 12, 2018 16:14

Sports

Future Of Bhutan’s Women Football Depends On The Development Of Local Coaches

The football coach of the national women’s team, Sung Jea Lee said that there is a need to train local coaches.

Jul 08, 2018 18:16

Bhutan’s Two Young Representatives Shared Their Unforgettable Experiences At The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Bhutan was represented by two students, Rigzin Tenzin, 12, from Gelephu and Kinley Deki Yangzom, 12, from Lobesa Lower Secondary School,...

Jun 30, 2018 14:06

Business

Cottage And Small Industry Which Saw 20% Growth Is A Pillar Of Bhutan’s Industry Sector

To date, the CSIs constitute more than 90 percent of Bhutan’s industry sector.

Jul 19, 2018 13:46

Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Has Generated Profits And Served More Than 500 Tourists And Locals Since 2016

The RBHS was launched with the primary objective of providing services during medical emergencies and natural disasters and also for tourism...

Jul 14, 2018 14:23

Travel

Heading To Haa, Bhutan For The Summer Festival? Here Are Some Culinary Delights You Must Not Miss!

Savour the most delectable cuisine from the province of Haa in Bhutan.

Jul 13, 2018 14:54

Rare Masked Dances - One Of The Unique Features Of The Kholong Tshechu (Brawl Festival) In Bhutan

“Other dances like the Pha-dong chham, Sangling Ngachham, and Terchham among others are not performed in any part of the country,” said...

Jul 03, 2018 14:44

Lifestyle

Suja – Bhutanese Butter Tea Infused With Happiness To Kickstart Your Day

Traditionally, Suja is made from tea leaves, water, salt and yak butter.

Jul 17, 2018 17:19

Bhutan Film Festival Held In Sikkim To Commemorate 50 Years Of Bhutan-India Friendship Ended With Colourful Traditional Dances

Bhutanese celebrities and Sikkim’s local artists performed various traditional and cultural performances at the festival.

Jul 15, 2018 14:32

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!