Organized by the Ladakh Department of Industries and Trade, the showcase showcases a wide variety of products made by over 80 highly skilled and trained artisans. While 40 artisans are from Ladakh, the rest are from Leh.
While one is drawn to the colorful and welcoming stalls, the warmth of the artisans really makes you appreciate Ladakhi art and craftsmanship. There are earthenware and metal pots, traditional paintings, rugs and subtle decorative pieces, including elegant statues of Buddha, which can be purchased there.
The warm shoes and handmade pashmina shawls and coats sold are perfect for facing the northern Indian winter. Besides the crafts and looms at the exhibition, cultural folk performances from various parts of Ladakh take place from 5.30 p.m.
Smanla Tsering (62), while showing off her detailed hand-painted masks, said she completed a two-year training course at the Ladakh Handicrafts Training Center. He also sometimes does his own painting. “The authorities trained us in all the traditional art forms that interested us, from thanga painting to sculpture, knitting, pottery and metal arts. They also gave us an incentive of Rs 500, ”he added.
Tsering said: “The government has taken the initiative to preserve local art forms by supporting those who want to learn. Each person trained at the Center is paid by the government to train 10 other people from their village. This ensures that Ladakh’s heritage thrives.
Sonam Dolma, from Zanskar, was seen wearing pure wool shawls and sweaters and handmade boots. She had made the products with members of her support group. “Other groups in our area have inspired 10 housewives to come together to earn an extra after finishing our housework. We approached the authorities and were trained by the crafts department. she said.
The craftsman would share the gains with the other members of his group. She had also displayed highly nutritious local cheese, black peas and sattu (to mix into tea) in her stall.
Kunzang Dolma represented the initiative of his daughter, La Pashmina, and sold exclusive pashmina clothing, including caps, cardigans, sweaters, socks, gloves, and more. She was happy with her sales. “During the first and second editions of the show, sales fell because of the Covid-19. Now it’s winter and people want to buy Ladakhi clothes, ”she said.