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Handicraft Industry in Nepal

Essay Topic:

Industry in Nepal Industrial Social Work Submitted by: Submitted to: Bikina Chhetri Kesh Malla 6th Semester Date: 1st October, 2010 Concept: Handicrafts are unique expressions that represent a culture, tradition and the heritage of a country.Nepal is well known for its exotic Handicrafts legacy and tradition.A wide range of Nepalese Handicrafts represents the diversity of Handicrafts Tradition in Nepal.Handicraft is an artwork that needs tremendous artistic skills and creative mastery.

Variety of designs and finishes are available in Nepalese market that reflects excellent artistic skills of craftsmen.

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. Handicraft, also known as craft work or simply craft, is a type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or using only simple tools. Usually the term is applied to traditional means of making goods. The individual artisanship of the items is a paramount criterion; such items often have cultural and/or religious significance.Handicrafts were the predominant form of production until the appearance of large-scale machine industry, with which they coexist, although they have lost much of their former importance. The characteristics of handicrafts are the use of simple implements of labor; the decisive importance of the artisan’s skill, which makes possible the production of high-quality, artistic goods; and small-scale production, in which the artisan works alone or with an extremely limited number of assistants.

Often, the concept of handicrafts does not include domestic handicrafts, which are designated by some other term.For example, peasant domestic handicrafts may be known as domestic industry. Sometimes, only commissioned handicrafts are included in the concept of handicrafts, and handicrafts for market are referred to as cottage industry. The term “handicrafts” sometimes designates commissioned work and marketed work only at the stage when artisans are small-scale, economically independent producers who personally own the means of production. Nepalese Handicrafts can be categorized into two major divisions: Traditional/ConventionalProducts such as metal statues, ethnic costumes, traditional silver jewellery, wood carving, religious and ritual objects like bells, vajra, stone sculpture, metal utensil, paubha painting, ceramics, Handmade Paper, Hand Knitwear, filigree, Bell, Vajra products are traditional Nepalese crafts. Contemporary/Modern Products like home furnishing material, floor covering, modern painting, patina products, puzzle toys, macrame (knot crafts), pashmina, leather products, modern silver jewellery gift ware, decorative items, dolls & puppets, crazy hats, batik, bead crafts, bone & horn products, natural buttons, felt craft etc. re some of the modern forms of Nepalese handicrafts.

Origin: Handicrafts emerge with the rise of human productive activity. Developing along with technology under different social formations, handicrafts assume various forms. In conformity with the stages of the social division of labor, they are usually subdivided into domestic handicrafts, commissioned (made-to-order) handicrafts, and handicrafts produced for the market. Domestic handicrafts, the earliest form, prevail before handicrafts develop into an independent sector of the economy.Produced by the members of a household to satisfy their own needs, they are an inseparable part of the subsistence economy. Nepalese handicraft history can be traced back to the Stone Age when human beings were inadequate of tools of any kind. The history of artistic handicrafts only began during the 5th Century A.

D. , when different religions began to form their bases among the people of Nepal. Hence we see a lot of religious influence on Nepalese handicrafts. Introduced by the Nordic Aryans, mixed with different groups of Mongolians, nurtured by Buddhist and Hindu concepts adapted the taste of market.The historical development of Nepalese handicraft industry is very old although has its rise and falls. According to the reference found in Kautilya’s Economics about various productions and exports from Nepal, during the time of Chandra Gupta Mouriya, in fourth century, Nepal was known for quality rainproof woollen blankets. The blankets were made of eight pieces joined together of black colour known as “bhiringisi” as well as “apasaraka”.

Similarly the good quality blankets are mentioned in the epics of Jain religion “Brihatakalpasutra Vhashya”. Various famous Chinese travellers like Wanghunshe and Huansang in 648 A.D. have appreciated Nepalese arts and crafts and the skills of Nepalese craftsmen and artisans in their travelogues. From the beginning up to the mid-nineteenth century, the rulers of the country promoted national industries and trade to various measures of production, promotion and encouragement. Saving national industry only imported commodities which were not produced locally. Towards the end of the nineteenth century Nepalese arts and crafts industry and the entire home based industries in general suffered a lot due to the general liberal import policy of the government.

Prior to the establishment of British regime over India and entering a peace treaty with Tibet in 1904 A. D. Nepal was interpreted as the main route to Tibet for external trade with other countries. But the treaty of 1904 A. D. facilitated the British to open a new route between India and Tibet through Chumbic Valley and the trade route treaty of 1923 A. D.

between Nepal and British India, which was not in favour of Nepal and had very unfavourable effects both on industries and on flourishing trade of the country. In Nepal, the production of handicraft is an age-old practise.Novel handicraft is also developed in harmony with changing market taste. For the last 25–30 years, export of handicrafts has been growing. The development of handicraft helps the conservation of national heritage and culture of country; which in return contributes to appease poverty by creating job opportunities. The handicrafts of Nepal is produced in a traditional way, from generations to generations leading the footpath of ancestors or from forefather to grandfather to father and to son and this continuity has given the survival to Nepalese handicrafts, preserving their heritage, cultural values, aspects and tradition.More recently, these arts and crafts is one of the major exporting industry of Nepal, earning foreign exchange and providing employment to thousands of Nepalese craftsmen, artisans, promoters and businessmen generating revenue to government.

There are many online websites on Nepalese handicrafts, which are used by international customers for ordering products. Importance to the Development and Economy: Handicrafts have remained stronger in economically underdeveloped countries, where they still account for a significant percentage of the output.Even in these countries, however, handicrafts are giving way to factory industry. Handicrafts have both cultural and economic importance for any country. Handicrafts are the potential medium to preserve the rich traditional art, heritage ;amp; culture, traditional skills ;amp; talents. On other side handicrafts play significant role for economic development in Nepal and provides ample opportunities for employment and boosts the tourism industry.Handicrafts in Nepal are associated with different festivals, rituals, religion and beliefs as there is diversified culture and tradition all over the Himalayan kingdom, like Mandla Art, Buddha jayanti, Christmas Decorative, Buddhist Sculptures, Sculptures of Hindu Deities, and Mithila arts from Janakpur.

There is a huge demand for Nepalese handicrafts products in both domestic and international market. Major part of Handicrafts Industry is dominated by small ;amp; medium scale enterprises. To deliver quality products ;amp; match the demand ;amp; supply there is need of greater technological support ;amp; innovativeness in industry.Handicrafts are an integral part of Nepalese Culture and will continue to play a major role in the Cultural and Economic well being of Nepal. MAJOR EXPORT COMMODITIES 1990/91 Rs. Mn Carpets (hand knotted woolwn) 3701. 99 Readymade garments 1343.

57 Jute ;amp; jute products 1343. 57 Hides and skins 277. 70 Pulses 241. 67 Vegetable oils 215. 00 Oil cake 87. 50 Niger seeds 86. 50 Catechu 76.

5 Ginger 61. 40 Handicrafts 49. 18 Silverware and jewellery 44. 67 (source: ministry of industry of Nepal) The above given result shows that handicraft also plays a significance role for the economic development of the country. Not only has this but it also helps in utilization of raw materials and creating employment opportunities for the people. So, it can be termed as one of the vital area to work for increasing the GDP. Federation of Handicraft Association of Nepal:Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal was established in 1972 to enhance and promote handicraft trade and industry.

Originally, its name was Handicraft Association of Nepal (HAN). It is registered under Institution Registration Act of Nepal. It is a service oriented non-profit organization of private sector business and artisan community. It helps its members to improve their productivity, explore markets and introduce them to the international arena. It also works as liaison between its members and the Government and Non-Government Organizations. The Government of Nepal has not specified a typical policy for handicraft.The handicraft has been included inside the industry policy while there is a Federation of Handicraft Association of Nepal which works hand in hand with government and has developed some functions for handicraft which are: 1.

Organize seminars, symposiums and conferences on various topics relevant to strengthening the handicraft trade ;amp; industry. 2. Organize exhibition and trade fairs to highlight handicraft products ;amp; create public awareness in its usage. 3. Activate and increase contacts with National and International Agencies for the growth of handicraft trade ;amp; industry. . Explore additional markets for the handicraft products.

5. Institute award in recognition of highest export and best craftsmanship. 6. Arrange participation in international trade fairs ;amp; exhibitions for its members. 7. Publication of news bulletins, books, catalogues, members’ directory and other materials relevant to promote handicraft trade ;amp; industry. 8.

Act as catalytic agent for management of training programmes for the benefit of its members. 9. Documentation ;amp; dissemination of information regarding handicraft trade ;amp; industry. | Analysis:The market of handicraft is increasing day by day. Now a day’s people are showing their interest in handicrafts as it looks beautiful, attractive and primitive. In my view it is important to understand the present state of craft trade and the experience of the people who produce and sell crafts. The quantity of each handicrafts product at the outlets is generally small due to which the people involve in this business are not able to gain attention from the government.

A major problem in supplying the retail outlets is that they order very small quantities.Due to the small scale of their business, they might keep products on consignments and pay groups for what they sales and return what does not sell. Craft groups are rapidly loosing ground due to some reasons like most of artisans do not get to hear about the schemes made for them. Even if they hear also, they don’t seem to be getting more benefits as they are unable to compete in larger urban market, both domestic and international. At the producers’ and financial constraints, lack of raw materials, changes in market trends are the problem that has to be tackling in this business.On the other hand Government of Nepal is also not much interested in handicrafts as it has not declared any policy for handicrafts. But somehow many NGO and other small scale industry have given it some priority and have been working accordingly.

May be this will help the government to realize the importance of handicraft in future and give special priority towards it as a means of economic development of the country.References: www. wikipedia. com www. ekantipur. com www. fhan.

com. org www. moics. gov. np

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