Tibetan embroidery lifts Qinghai residents from poverty

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/15 20:28:41

A woman makes Tibetan embroidery products in a company in Northwest China's Qinghai Province. Photo: Courtesy of Wucai Tibetan Embroidery Art Company

A lot of residents in Northwest China's Qinghai Province have lifted themselves out of poverty by working in the Tibetan embroidery industry and their products have been sold overseas, including the US and India. 

The Tibetan embroidery industry covers 32 townships and villages in five counties of the Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province, with annual sales of more than 61 million yuan ($8.8 million), China News Service reported Sunday.

Originated in the 9th century, Tibetan embroidery, together with thangka and barbola, is known as the major arts of Tibetan Buddhism. 

As one of the 21 major Tibetan embroidery manufacturing companies in the prefecture, Wucai Tibetan Embroidery Art Company employs more than 40 local embroiders, company manager Lengben Cairang told the Global Times on Monday. 

Before being employed, most embroiders worked as waiters and farmers  earning up to 2,000 yuan per month. But each of them now gets a monthly salary of 3,000 to 6,000 yuan, Cairang said. 

Pictured are Tibetan embroidery products hand-made by local embroiders from Northwest China's Qinghai Province. Photo: Courtesy of Wucai Tibetan Embroidery Art Company

Dekyi Tso, a female embroider, who works at a local company, said that she never thought that she could earn a living by making Tibetan embroidery, something she knew how to do since she was young, and get up to 120 yuan ($17.45) a day, according to China News Service.

The prefecture is home to 109 villages below the national poverty line, according to Beijing-based news portal mzb.com.cn. People whose annual income is lower than 2,300 yuan are defined as living below the poverty line in China, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

To help locals become better off, Cairang said his company also regularly trains local residents interested in Tibetan embroidery. 

Hand-made Tibetan embroidery by farmers in the prefecture have been sold in other countries, including the US, India and Nepal. 

Many local companies participate in various events in other provinces in the hope of capturing bigger markets for traditional art products, the report said.

Cairang said Tibetan embroidery products, such as bags, clothes and decorative pictures, made by his company are mainly sold to other provinces and regions, including Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Tibet, but he is also eyeing overseas markets.

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