Bhutanese clay sculpture is among the best in the Himalayan region. Many gifted sculptors were invites to build statues for some of neighboring Tibet’s ancient monasteries. Today, this heritage is kept alive through rigorous training courses. Towering clay statues of Guru Rinpoche and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, key figures in the Bhutan’s Buddhist history, are central figures in the more than 2, 000 monasteries all around the country. Intricate clay statues are owned and have a place on the family alter.
Apart from clay sculpture, clay pottery has always had a functional role in the Bhutanese household. Relegated as specialized skills in a few villages in Bhutan, the craft has now been revived through government support and training.