A family of four generations devoted to Tibetan paper making - Economy & Society - Tibetol

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A family of four generations devoted to Tibetan paper making
By:China Tibet Online
update:August 07,2018
Aug.7,2018--On a road that runs through Nyemo County, drive more than 10 minutes forward to the west and you will reach Shora Village in Tarrong Township, surrounded by greenery and a bubbling stream. A lush field of plant to the side is particularly dazzling, and it is here that an elderly man is working meticulously in the field with an iron pickaxe.
 
Nyemo County is located about 150 kilometers away from Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet and is famous for Tibetan paper making.  
 
68-year-old Tsering Dorje is an inheritor of Shora Tibetan paper, a national-level intangible cultural heritage.
 
"I remember that this way of papermaking has been passed down for three generations at least, and now I pass it along to my sons, who are the fourth generation," Tsering Dorje said, who has been making Tibetan paper for more than 50 years.
 
Tibetan paper, which is more than 1,300 years old, is said to have originated from papermaking technology brought to Tibet by Princess Wencheng when she came to Tibet. Because the raw material is made of a kind of poisonous local plant, it is not susceptible to insects and does not rot easily.
 
Making Tibetan paper cannot be mechanized on a large scale, so each piece of paper is handmade.
 
The fundamental element that determines the quality of the paper is the root of the plant, but the plant is very irritating to human eyes and skin.
 
Those who come into contact with it for a long period of time will have an allergic reaction of pimples on their face and have symptoms of skin molting.
 
Although protective measures have been taken during the production process, there are still risks.
 
In order to save the tradition of making Tibetan paper, Tsering Dorje has been persistent.
 
In the past, the plant used in Tibetan paper grew wild on mountains, but now, Tsering Dorje is trying to plant it artificially. He believes that the future of Tibetan paper lies in these fields.
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