CONTENTS:- House and Fortress: Traditional Building in Buddhist Ladakh; Islamic Architecture in Ladakh; Metalworking in Ladakh; The Turquoise Headdress of Ladakh; Textile Arts of Ladakh: Nomadic Weaves to Silk-Brocades; Reshaping Tradition: The Life and Work of Nawang Tsering; A Short Biography of a Contemporary Buddhist Painter; Recent Painting Traditions of Ladakh: Central Tibetan Styles in Far Western Tibet.
Situated in the high desert reaches of the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges and frequently presented as a remote and isolated part of the world, Ladakh has actually been a crossroads for the transmission of goods and ideas for at least a thousand years. From the 10th century it was an independent country ruled by the Buddhist Namgyal dynasty until 1834 when it was annexed by the Dogras, the Hindu rulers of Jammu. Well into the 20th century Ladakh was a key staging post on Central and South Asian trade routes and the region hosted visitors hailing from Srinagar to Yarkand. This cosmopolitanism is reflected in the arts and material heritage, where indigenous Ladakhi expression is often intermixed with Tibetan, Kashmiri, and Central Asian elements. Some art forms display considerable continuities with the past while others are distinguished by the unique cultural practices of subregional communities, such as the textiles of nomadic pastoralists inhabiting the northeastern parts of Ladakh.
This is the first volume to combine essays on the history and ongoing production of art in Ladakh and to recognize both Buddhist and Islamic contributions to the cultural environment. Drawing on recent research in the region, this book covers subjects ranging from the analysis of key sites and prominent contemporary artists, through to the interpretation of metalwork, jewellery, and textiles. The essays are written by internationally acknowledged experts from a broad spectrum of disciplines including historians and anthropologists. Richly illustrated, this publication will appeal to those with an interest in the Himalayas, art, Buddhism, and Islam.