Tshazo is facing the brink in Trongsa’s Monpa communities

Nim Dorji  | Trongsa

Tshazo (bamboo craft), one of the main source of income for the people the Monpa community of Jangbi, Wamling, and Phumzur in Trongsa, is slowly disappearing.

Tshazo uses cane and bamboo to weave products such as orongbhazib (backpack), lakchuchungchu (basket), bechab (winnow) and pari (mats), among others.

This, according to the people, was due to lack of raw materials that their source of income has taken a dip.

Monpas still rely on tshazo besides subsistence farming. They also seasonally migrate to urban areas to work at construction sites. Some Monpas still rely significantly on natural resources, both for food and raw materials.

Kinga said the bamboo products were sold mostly in Trongsa and nearby places. However, due to lack of raw materials, interest is losing among the people of the community to keep tshazo alive.

“People doing community contract work, going for labour contribution in nearby places are some factors affecting the art,” he said.

There is no written document about how tshazo came to the mainstay of the community.

Tshewang, 57, said all children in the community go to school and there was no one to learn the art.

Today, only four villagers are keeping the art alive.

“We are worried that the art might die with us,” Tshewang added.

Jangbi Tshogpa Lhajay said there were not many people in the community anymore. Passing the art one to the next generation so is a huge challenge.

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