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Wooden Sculpture in Nepal An Introduction

Wood is an integral part of the Nepalese traditional culture and architecture and evidence of its role can be found dating back to the Licchavi period, fourth through ninth century. Most of the woodcarvings that have survived throughout Nepal around temples and other heritage sites are from the thirteenth to eighteenth century Malla period. While earlier woodcarvings have been described in travelogues, samples have not survived the elements. Clans of Newars, the 'old people' of Kathmandu, have been working with wood for generations. Among these Newar woodcarver clans, the Silpakars are, perhaps, the best known. They produce statues, decorative windows, doors and other works that is sold both locally and abroad contributing one of Nepal's most important industries. Restorations in traditional styles are ongoing and there has been a surge in traditional style buildings. Scholars believe that wooden windows, struts, and other carvings have seen the least influence from outside sources among all other art forms and were developed and fine tuned by the Nepalese themselves. Note that the woodcarvings of the Khas Kingdom, eleventh to fourteenth centuries, in western Nepal are not discussed in detail and warrant a closer look when studying Nepalese woodwork. This section includes a woodwork photo gallery and a collectibles section revealing several forms of the artwork. In-depth articles and photographs the history of Nepalese woodwork, how it appears today where its industry is going according to artisans and politicians. The process of woodwork today as well as how a typical artist lives.

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