Pashupatinath
Newar gold earrings
Changu Narayan Temple
Newar potter
Newar window
Newar brass vessel

    Kathmandu Valley

    Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu Valley, the rich green
treasure of Nepal, is the home of the
Newar people, who for two millennia
have been at the crossroads of trade
and teaching between India and Tibet.  
Blessed with a supportive setting, the
kings and wealthy Newars were
especially motivated to express their
devotion with generous offerings.  The
rulers had access to the finest artists,
artisans and architects. The result was
an extraordinary variety of devotional
outpourings in the forms of palaces,
temples, bahas, chaityas, shrines, rest
houses, gahiri-dhara (deep fountains),
water tanks, sacred trees and ponds
established to exhibit, protect and
extend their prosperous life.

Sounds of hammering and beating,
chiseling and turning, carving and
chasing, fill the lanes and chowks.
These are the centers of creative
manufacture in both cast and
hammered metal.

Tamrakar workers hammer copper and
brass sheet metals to make water
vessels, cauldrons and a variety of
utensils.  Kansakar metal workers pour
molten bell metal to form a slab which
they beat into cymbals, bowls, and
plates.   Sakya and Vajracharya smiths
make gold and silver ornaments.  
Besides the metal work for private
households, this tradition of rare
artistic power speaks out of the
centuries from elaborately ornamented
temple surfaces, the ritual jewelry of
the  Kumari, and the seemingly
uncountable images of deities in
temples and shrines throughout the
valley and beyond.   
Besides the images for the shrines and
temples, there is a vast number of
designs for household use as pitchers
for water and alcohol, trays for
offerings, bowls and plates, and
various pots for oil.  The surfaces are
often defined in a series of complex
curves and angles within each of the
structural areas of the form. Then
again within these delineations of
surface, further complexity is added by
series of ornamental lotus petals and
other floral designs, creating an
extremely elaborate surface based on
layer upon layer of components and
elements, textures and details.
Newar hookah