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Horsehair thangka sees revival in Inner Mongolia

Publish Time: 2019-01-02 Author: From: Xinhua

When the skilled craftsmanship needed to make Tibetan thangka spread to the Inner Mongolia region hundreds of years ago, locals added their own touch-horsehair-to give the embroidery more texture and make it more vivid.

China's only museum for horsehair thangka opened in late December in Alxa Left Banner, with a show of more than 200 thangka works made by Taogerile, 75, the leading inheritor of the art in Inner Mongolia, and her disciples.

Thangka often depicts Buddhist images, events and figures in a Tibetan epic. Horsehair gives the silk embroidery a 3D impression and makes the texture more rugged.

Taogerile said she inherited the craft from her grandfather and her mother. Three years ago, the technique was dying out. Only a few inheritors still had some of the traditional works in their homes as decorations.

Worried about the dying culture, Taogerile called back her children, who were living abroad in 2015, and set up a private workshop to sustain the traditional artistry.

To her surprise, the complicated embroidery was designated as a poverty-alleviation program in the banner, which has seen hundreds of farmers and herdsmen get involved in the training over the years.

"The art has not only survived but is also revived. New artworks have become more and more aesthetic and valuable," she said.

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