Tibetan crafts create new money stream

Publish Time: 2020-08-05 Author: Palden Nyima in Lhokha, Tibet From: chinadaily.com.cn

Tsering Drolkar shows her handcrafted products in the workshop. [Photo by Palden Nyima/chinadaily.com.cn]

Drolkar is pleased to have a job in an ethnic handicrafts workshop in her village so she can increase her income in ways that don't involve farm work.

Drolkar is a Tibetan woman from Karpo village in Lhodrag county of the Tibet autonomous region. More than 30 of her fellow villagers have temporary jobs in the workshop, which produces products such as Tibetan-style woolen bags, scarves, ethnic clothes, umbrellas, gloves and hats.

"The cooperative provides villagers a platform to pass on our traditional handicraft skills, and chances to earn extra income other than farming," she said.

Last year, Drolkar earned more than 13,000 yuan (1,800 USD) from the cooperative doing part-time work, and her family received a dividend of 3,000 yuan as a shareholder.

A Tibetan woman operates a loom. [Photo by Palden Nyima/chinadaily.com.cn]

The cooperative has been providing jobs for more than 120 villagers since its establishment in 2012, including 76 poor people from 27 families. More than 3 million yuan has been spent on salaries. The families involved saw an average increase of annual income between 20,000 and 50,000 yuan.

Tsering Drolkar, who runs the cooperative, said more than 85 local families are shareholders. Typical shareholders received a dividend of 4,800 yuan last year.

Tsering Drolkar said that the cooperative mainly focused on traditional handmade products in the beginning, such as leather bags and woolen quits, but since 2014, it has begun to produce ethnic products featuring both modern and traditional elements.

"Traditional products are only sold locally, so there is not much profit. But modern products with ethnic culture elements are welcomed by consumers everywhere," she said. "Our products are sold via different e-commerce platforms."

Tibetan wool blankets will be used in producing various handicrafts. [Photo by Palden Nyima/chinadaily.com.cn]

Workers spin wool thread in the workshop. [Photo by Palden Nyima/chinadaily.com.cn]

A woman spins wool thread in the workshop. [Photo by Palden Nyima/chinadaily.com.cn]

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