Bhutan is regarded as one of the most isolated nations in the world and is a Constitutional Monarchy. The reason for this is that the Bhutanese government has regulated foreign influences and tourism to a great extent, with the aim of preserving its traditional culture, identity and the environment. The largest city of Bhutan is Thimphu which is also the national capital and is situated at an elevation of 7,656 ft. (2,320 m). Bhutan stands nestled amidst the eastern end of the Himalaya Mountains, bordered by India in the south, east and west and by China in the north. The landscape of the country offers a wide variety, ranging from subtropical plains in the south to Himalayas in the north.
Population: 742,737 (2012)
Official Language: Dzongkha
Type of Government: Unitary Parliamentary, Constitutional Monarchy
Bhutanese textiles are a unique art form inspired by nature made in the form of clothing, crafts and different types of pots in eye-catching blend of colour, texture, pattern and composition. This art form is witnessed all over Bhutan. It is also a significant cultural exchange garment that is gifted to mark occasions of birth and death, auspicious functions such as weddings and professional achievements and in greeting dignitaries. Each region has its own special designs of textiles, either made of vegetable dyed wool known as yathra or pure silk called Kishuthara. It is the women, belonging to a small community, who weave these textiles as a household handicrafts heritage
Most Bhutanese art, known as lhazo, is customarily religion centric. These are made by artists without inscribing their names on them. The paintings encompass various types including the traditional Thangkas, which are scroll paintings made in “highly stylised and strict geometric proportions” of Buddhist iconography that are made with mineral paints. Most houses in Bhutan have religious and other symbolic motifs painted inside their houses and also on the external walls
The art of making religious sculptures is unique in Bhutan and hence very popular in the Himalayan region. The basic material used for making the sculptures is clay, which is known as jinzob. The clay statues of Buddhist religious icons, made by well known artists of Bhutan, embellish various monasteries in Bhutan. This art form of sculpture is taught to students by professional artists at the Institute of Zorig Chosum in Thimphu
Handmade paper known as deysho is in popular usage in Bhutan and it is durable and insect resistant. The basic material used is the bark of the Daphne plant. This paper is used for printing religious texts; traditional books are printed on this paper. It is also used for packaging gifts. Apart from handmade paper, paper factories in Bhutan also produce ornamental art paper with designs of flower petals, and leaves, and other materials.
Wood carving known as Parzo is a specialised and ancient art form, which is significantly blended with modern buildings in the resurgent Bhutan. Carved wood blocks are used for printing religious prayer flags that are seen all over Bhutan in front of monasteries, on hill ridges and other religious places. Carving is also done on slate and stone. The wood that is used for carving is seasoned for at least one year prior to carving