Learning Center

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Information about Learning Center

Published on October 3, 2007

Author: Natalia

Source: authorstream.com

Learning Center:  Learning Center Learn about our products, the materials used in their creation, and how our offerings are unique. Sangrila Nepal The Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal:  The Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal Draped between the greatest heights of the Himalayas lies Nepal, a Hindu Kingdom that is blessed with a wealth of cultural diversity and natural magnificence. Temples and stupas grace the old, crooked streets, and everywhere the haunting melodies of flute and sarangi fill the air. Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, and the home of the most sacred temple in Hinduism, Pashupatinath. It is a prime destination for thousands of travelers eager to trek and climb seven of the highest peaks on earth. Here the traditional arts are still cherished and passed down from old to young, providing a sense of continuity for the nation. It has been said that being in Nepal is the closest thing to being in Heaven, only sooner. Hence, the name “Sangrila” Nepal. What kinds of jewelry do we carry?:  What kinds of jewelry do we carry? Rings Earrings Cuffs/Bracelets/Bangles Pendants Necklaces Anklets Various materials are used to make our unique jewelry :  Various materials are used to make our unique jewelry Focus: Sterling Silver :  Focus: Sterling Silver There is no silver (chandi) in Nepal and so it is most often imported from Tibet or India. It is symbolic of the female in nature and the moon deity. The silver used by Sangrila Nepal is 925 sterling—which is generally regarded as the most desirable as it has a shiny patina. Traditional Nepalese jewelry is usually not of sterling grade, the preference being lower quality coin silver alloys. Focus: Gold :  Focus: Gold Gold is the supreme metal in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Gold symbolizes the sun, fire, and the male. It cannot pollute or be polluted and thus serves to purify. Gold is alloyed with silver or copper to harden it. The most common alloy is 900/1000. Sangrila Nepal’s Pancha Ratna (five gems) bracelets are made using the five protective metals capped with 24K gold. Focus: Copper :  Focus: Copper Copper or tama serves as a base for gold plating or fire gilding. Copper is mined in Nepal and the deposits at Ipa are often called “live” copper because of their purity. The red color of copper associates it with blood and it is considered beneficial to one’s health. Focus: Brass :  Focus: Brass Brass is actually an alloy of copper and zinc resulting in a yellow color metal. Jewelry made of brass or white metal is usually reserved for those who cannot afford gold. In the manufacture of heavy anklets and bracelets with brass, silver is often added. The most popular bracelet worn by Middle Hills women includes the Bagh Mukhe Bala, “Lion Mouth” bracelet, which is often made of base metal alloys including brass, copper, and silver. Five Metal Cuff:  Five Metal Cuff Focus: Iron :  Focus: Iron Iron is believed to drive away evil spirits, but is rarely used in the making of jewelry. In the Terai, children are protected by an iron bead around the waist. Iron can be seen used in anklets for small children in the Raute, a group of nomadic hunters. Anklets are believed to help the legs grow straight, and protect the wearer from ghosts. Iron bells on the anklets, ghangala, make a sound that helps children learn to walk more quickly. The power of iron can be increased if it is made during the lunar eclipse. Focus: Coral :  Focus: Coral The red color of coral, “muga”, associates it with Ganesha. Ox blood red color, flawless texture, and large size all indicate coral of the highest quality. Coral is thought to strengthen the blood and is most effective when worn next to the skin. People believe that if they wear coral they will have success in life. Coral color can range from red to pink/salmon to almost white. Coral Pendant:  Coral Pendant Focus: Turquoise :  Focus: Turquoise Turquoise, called “tuto” in Nepali, is considered to be highest quality when it is sky blue and flawless. “Living” turquoise is blue, while “dead” turquoise is either white or black. During the aging process, it turns green. Turquoise is auspicious and protective; it brings the wearer the best of luck and a new life, can absorb sin, and also assures a safe journey. Turquoise and Coral Pendant:  Turquoise and Coral Pendant Focus: Lapis Lazuli :  Focus: Lapis Lazuli Lapis Lazuli is a blue stone made of several minerals including lazurite, sodalite, hauyne, calcite, and pyrite. The best quality has an intense dark blue color and minor patches of white calcite and brassy yellow pyrite. The highest quality Lapis is found in Afghanistan. Lapis Lazuli is believed to protect the wearer from evil. Lapis Lazuli and Coral Bracelet:  Lapis Lazuli and Coral Bracelet Focus: Moonstone :  Focus: Moonstone Moonstone is indigenous to Nepal; however, the best moonstone is from Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Moonstone distinguishes itself with a blue or white sheen, known as “schiller”. The reflection of light from inside the stone causes this phenomenon. Thin albite layers inside the stone produce a blue sheen, while thicker layers produce a white one. Moonstone Earrings:  Moonstone Earrings Focus: Amber :  Focus: Amber Amber provides protection from sickness and attracts good luck while keeping evil away. It brings the wearer purity, wealth, and peace. The fossilized tree resin actually comes from the Baltic Sea area and is used most often by the Tibeto-Nepalese along with coral and turquoise. Some antique beads have literally been in circulation for hundreds of years and are priceless. Amber Cuff:  Amber Cuff Focus: Pearls and Shells :  Focus: Pearls and Shells Nepalese revere the pearl as a charm against poverty, demons, evil, and disease. It is seen as a sign of peace. The white color symbolizes purity and is representative of Vishnu. Shells are one of the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism. Right-whorled shells protect against ghost and evil spirits and signify female fertility, the womb, and life. They serve to protect children and the souls of shamans when endangered by evil spirits. Mother-of-pearl is the iridescent lining of shells. Pearl Necklace:  Pearl Necklace Focus: Malachite :  Focus: Malachite The color of malachite is derived from copper. It is carved or polished to show off the alternating bands of dark and light green. Malachite is worn to ward off illness and danger. Malachite is also believed to ease rheumatism. It is a symbol of creativity, and is used to make one conscious of fears and desires. Malachite and Coral Pendant:  Malachite and Coral Pendant Focus: Onyx :  Focus: Onyx The name comes from the Greek word “onux”, which means nail of a finger or claw. Legend says that one day while Aphrodite was sleeping, Eros cut her fingernails and left the clippings scattered on the ground.  Since no parts of a heavenly body can die, the gods turned them into stone, which later became known as onyx. Onyx has straight bands of brown and white or black and white. Onyx is known as one of the best materials for inlay and carving work. It has been stained since ancient Egyptian times in order to change or improve its color. Onyx Bracelet:  Onyx Bracelet Focus: Citrine :  Focus: Citrine Citrine is the yellow or golden-yellow variety of quartz. Citrine’s yellow color is caused by the presence of iron. It’s name is derived from the word citrus. Gem quality citrine is extremely rare; most citrine is heat-treated amethyst. Natural citrine is pale yellow to pale orange, much lighter than the heat-treated material which is dark orange-brown to reddish-brown. Citrine Cuff:  Citrine Cuff Focus: Garnet :  Focus: Garnet Garnet is a beautiful red stone mined in Nepal’s Ganesh Himal eastern hills. However, garnet also occurs in every other color except blue, and most varieties are named for their color. Kathmandu deals in a wide range of these stones, which are well loved because of their beautiful red shade, a favorite of Nepalese women. Its powers include healing, protection, and strength, and it is often worn to relieve inflammations of the skin. It is also believed to regulate the heart and blood flow and aid in curing depression. In the past, garnets were exchanged between friends to symbolize their affection, and to ensure that they met again. Garnet Bracelet:  Garnet Bracelet Focus: Peridot :  Focus: Peridot Peridot has a distinctive olive, or bottle green color, caused by iron, and has an oily or greasy luster. The Crusaders of the Middle Ages brought it back to Europe from St. John’s Island in the Red Sea, where it had already been mined for over 3,500 years. Legend says that peridot was one of the favorite gemstones of Cleopatra and that some of the "emeralds" worn by her were actually peridot. Peridot, Amethyst, and Blue Topaz Earrings:  Peridot, Amethyst, and Blue Topaz Earrings Focus: Amethyst :  Focus: Amethyst Amethyst comes in shades of purple, lilac, or mauve, and shows a bluish or reddish- purple tinge when seen from different angles. It has inclusions that look like thumbprints, feathers, and tiger stripes. Amethyst is traditionally worn to guard against drunkenness, and to instill a serious and sober mind. Amethyst Pendant:  Amethyst Pendant Handmade Goods:  Handmade Goods Handmade goods are always one of a kind. Imperfections are to be expected and add to the originality, uniqueness, and value of the jewelry or goods. Sangrila Nepal specializes in offering a variety of unusual handmade goods. What other products do we offer?:  What other products do we offer? Dhaka Bags and Scarves Lungis Pashmina Scarves Lokta Paper Products Pote Beads Embroidered Bags Rope Bags Focus: Dhaka:  Focus: Dhaka Dhaka is a woven fabric made of mercerized muslin, and originated in the eastern part of Nepal. It is primarily created by Limbu women, who together with the Rai are known as the Kiranti, one of the largest ethnic groups in Nepal. The traditional colors of Dhaka cloth are black, white, red, and orange, though modern designs include a wide range of bright shades. Dhaka patterns are so distinctive that their origin can be readily identified. Today Dhaka is used for clothing, bags, topis, pillow covers, table mats and covers, other home textiles, shawls, and, in particular, attractive scarves. Focus: Lungis:  Focus: Lungis Lungis are traditional skirts also called “wrappers”. They are made from 100% cotton and imprinted with a variety of designs. Lungis can be worn by men and women alike. A 2x1 meter cloth, it is used for daily wear and also as a cover-up when bathing in a stream or river. Focus: Pashmina Scarves:  Focus: Pashmina Scarves Pashmina is the fine hair underlying the thick, outer wool of the Himalayan Kashmir goat (Capra Hircus). Our expert Nepalese artisans weave this wool into scarves, stoles, shawls, and sweaters that are soft and warm. Their skills in this field have been handed down through many generations, and each area offers a distinctive style of weave pattern. Focus: Lokta Paper:  Focus: Lokta Paper Lokta paper comes in solid colors, marbled finish, crinkled surface, and can include natural flowers or leaves. Lokta paper can also be recycled. Sangrila Nepal uses environmentally friendly recycled Lokta paper for its presentation folders. Good quality Lokta paper is acid-free and is often used to record valuable, official documents because of its strong, cross-fibrous texture. The bark is boiled, beaten to a pulp, mixed with water, poured into floating frames, and sun-dried on terraces. Artists hand-dye the paper with vegetable dyes. Traditional Lokta was made by hill people in winter when there was little else to do. Focus: Pote Beads:  Focus: Pote Beads Pote beads are an essential for almost every Nepalese woman. They come in a rainbow of colors, and are usually the supporting strands for a tilhari, either as a necklace or as a belt. Pote beads also have certain quality grades and range from shiny to matte in color. Ason, in Kathmandu, has a large market of specialized Pote bead weavers. There you can watch apprentices learn the craft of stringing at lightning speed, and watch necklaces be restrung or turned into delicate lace masterpieces. Pote Bead Necklaces:  Pote Bead Necklaces Focus: Embroidered Bags:  Focus: Embroidered Bags Sangrila Nepal offers a wide range of innovative embroidered bags using traditional symbols as well as modern designs. Our bags are made of hemp, cotton, velvet, and corduroy, using colorful stitching and beautiful patterns to create unique pieces. Focus: Rope Bags:  Focus: Rope Bags Rope bags are a Nepalese traditional handicraft. Sangrila Nepal has a selection of rope bags in diverse styles, sizes, and patterns. Rope bags are strong and solid, and come in a wide range of colors. Our Nepali Suppliers:  Our Nepali Suppliers We only deal with craftsmen and artisans from Nepal to produce our unique products. We use no child labor. All of our artists are skilled in traditional methods, and many are women. We work with home producers in both the urban centers and outlying areas. Our Commitment to Quality:  Our Commitment to Quality We do our best to offer you only the finest quality products at the most affordable prices. All our goods are handmade in Nepal by small local suppliers who are usually family-based artisan studios using traditional methods and skills to produce fine jewelry and other craft products. Sangrila Nepal’s Social Program:  Sangrila Nepal’s Social Program Sangrila Nepal donates 10% of its profits toward the education of young girls from low income families, as well as providing “seed money” for new businesses. This program is also supported by interested private donors who share our vision of helping people to help themselves through education and equal opportunity. Sangrila Nepal is dedicated to helping preserve traditional arts and crafts while also encouraging young designers. Thank you for joining us!:  Thank you for joining us! We hope you enjoyed this tour of our Learning Center and that it has helped you learn more about the Kingdom of Nepal, its people, and its traditional arts and crafts! Don’t forget to visit us on the web at www.sangrilanepal.com!

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