|Living Traditions Museum is organized into four cultural zones
Because of the intimate relationship between natural resources and the
makers of things, the diversity of the ecology from one area of the country
to another is reflected in the handmade objects. Each of the four primary
geographical regions—Terai, Middle Hills, Kathmandu Valley and Himalayan
Highlands—dictates certain needs related to climate and terrain as well as
providing its inhabitants with particular materials with which to work and
Villagers throughout Nepal are self-reliant, providing many household
needs. Virtually everyone learns from childhood to use their hands skillfully
to slice, carve, twist and spin. Men gather together to help a neighbor build
a house, everyone knowing the suitable local design worked out over
centuries. In the deep moist canyons, the entire family cuts nettles by day,
partying and dancing by night. Women weave the nettle fiber into strong
cloth for vests, saris, daypacks and grain storage sacks. Bamboo is used to
weave baskets and mats for all sorts of household purposes. Nearly
everyone has some creative skills and the courtyards and porches of the
village are often filled with activities of sawing, carving, spinning, weaving.
The range of art objects produced throughout Nepal is extensive, a
combination of cultural complexity and ecological diversity. Most people still
follow their inherited occupation: pottery, wood-working, beaten and cast
metalwork, basketry, painting on cloth, paper block prints, and continue
household traditions of spinning and weaving cloth.
trekked all over Nepal to collect them beginning in 1976.