Horn and Bone Crafts of Nepal

Bone, Horn, Shell, Ivory

Horn and Bone Crafts of Nepal

A recent development in the field of hand-crafted products in Nepal is the use of the buffalo and cattle horns to make a range of buttons, hair ornaments, jewellery, and decorative figures.

Horn is a versatile raw material and the artisans have shown a keen sensitivity to the material by using its diverse grains and colour variations to great advantage. When heated and oiled, horn becomes soft and pliable and the artisan can then mould and shape the horn into the required shape. The grain of the material and the variations in colours are used to create – naturally – subtle effects while crafting the product.

The range of utilitarian products crafted from horn includes buttons, trays, cigarette cases, little boxes, ash-trays, pen stands, and lamps. Ornamental hair pins, combs, and faux copies of jewels used as hair decorations are also made. Some are intricately carved with trellis patterns.

Horn is a raw material that is available almost everywhere. However, the crafting of the products, is mainly carried out in the three towns of the Kathmandu Valley.


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