Man helps renew county's interest in Tibetan tapestry

By Zhang Yue | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-29 07:49

Man helps renew county's interest in Tibetan tapestry

Local women work in a tapestry cooperative founded by Tenzin Chenglai (right) in Gyangze county in Xigaze city, Tibet autonomous region. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

Tenzin Chenglai was familiar with making carpets since his childhood. His elder brother and sister used to earn money from cutting and trimming pieces.

But starting a business didn't occur to him until a few years ago when he graduated with a bachelor's degree in architecture from Tibet University in Lhasa and became a civil servant in his county.

He understood the challenges the development of Tibetan tapestry faced through his visits to people's homes in Gyangze-the lack of well-skilled traditional tapestry makers, limited ideas about where to find quality wool and how to dye it in different colors.

"So, I used a basic way to approach the issues-asking for resources from locals by spreading the word in Gyangze," he says.

At first, there were only two elderly tapestry makers at the cooperative, and most of the patterns on pieces were natural scenery of the place. But now there are 65 workers, mostly female.

"When the business became stable in 2015, I tried to help poor families," he says.

Today, people from 26 poor families-most of them with disabilities-have been given jobs by the cooperative, he says.

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