The History of Glass Bead Work in Nepal.
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Glass bead work producing necklaces, bracelets, bangles, brooch, purses are adapted from the traditional skill of making Tilahari ( The twisted necklace of green and red in color bead specially worn by married women as symbol of “Married” status. It is deeply rooted Nepalese cultural objects as of “Tilahari” worn with a piece of gold pendant known as ” Mangal Sutra” which every Nepalese women aspire for. These skills and objects are of a muslim community when they originally migrated to the Valley several hundred years ago. The artifacts are still in higher demand locally specially one can observe Nepalese women wearing with red sarees, kurta on the festival of ” TeeJ’ which again the festival itselfs bears high significance in Nepalese culture.
These artworks and skill later adapted to produce products like ear rings, bracelets, necklaces, hair pins, tea costers, mobile bags, and party bags to match the taste of western consumers by introducing western taste color combination. In view of growing demand in the western market specially in North America the national federation of artisans ” Federation of Handicraft Associations ” has been conducting skill training for women on how to make glass bead bracelets, necklace etc and has trained thousands of women for the last ten years. This has become important skill to create jobs, raise income for many. But, as the number of skilled women grew, the production of it also grew and many artisans/women are confused where to market since the modified version of products have no local market. Thus, artisans always are keep looking for exort and they usualy sell from different channels.
Therefore, Third World Craft Nepal gathered these trained women and have been helping them to market abroad via online and offline channel since 1999. At the moment, Third World Craft Nepal directy support 200 women under several groups scattered around. The women keep constantly producing new color effects and designs. .
This manual labour intensive crafts gives valuable income earning opportunities for women who can balance their household chores with the job. Women who have responsibility to look after their children and home can also produce this because they do at their own home. The glass bead are imported from Chech Republic which are bit of higher quality and other from China which relatively lower price by 6 time so the final price of products may vary due to type of raw materials it uses despite the products look similar.