Tibetan Tapestries: Dream Weaves from the Himalayas

Designs by José Sanint

February 28 to April 24, 2012

Opening Reception: February 28, 2012

Tibetan Tapestries features beautiful and modern hand-woven textiles created by Tibetan artisans, using an ancient and maternal Tibetan-Himalayan-Buddhist weaving tradition.  The majority of these textiles are made from antique ceremonial garbs between 100 and 200 years old that have been carefully restored and translated into meaningful works of art.  They feature patterns designed by Jose Sanint, a Colombian architect and devoted Buddhist practitioner.

The wool for these textiles is lovingly and patiently collected during the summer months by nomadic, mostly female shepherds while the sheep are shedding, as native custom reveres these creatures and prohibits even shaving their bodies. The wool is then dyed with great care from natural pigments made from many different varieties of regional flora.  Each color symbolizes a different trait, and the patterns give each tapestry a distinct look that represents the heritage of a specific region in the Himalayas.

Once the fabric is dyed, the weaving is done by hand on a vertical loom. The women recite mantras as they work, preparing ceremonial garbs to be blessed by Lamas – enlightened monks. A woman crafts these ritual garments for her mother and each of her male family members, excluding herself.  When her grandmother passes away, she inherits the matriarch’s coveted clothing. Thus the process comes full circle.

Tibet House US is delighted to present these works of great distinction and artisanship.  They will be made available for sale, helping to support our work and that of the Akrabhala Foundation, which was founded by Jose Sanint to protect and preserve the endangered art and culture of Tibet.