Cultural heritage on the Tibetan plateau: black pottery

Editor’s Note: The first season of CGTN’s “Music Voyage” live show ended on Friday. As the week-long project explores the authentic music and beautiful nature of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the “Cultural Heritage on the Tibetan Plateau” series aims to offer an insight into some of Ganzi’s greatest cultural treasures.

The latest episode in the series features a traditional Tibetan art form other than song and dance – black pottery. While “Music Voyage” made its last stop in Daocheng County of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province (southwest China), it should be mentioned that Daocheng is among the places where The 1,000-year-old Tibetan pottery craftsmanship is kept alive.

These clay pots of various sizes and shapes served as essential daily utensils for the Tibetan people. It is called “black” because the surface of the earthenware is normally black.

Yet the pottery-making process is not an easy task. From collecting raw materials to kneading and shaping to polishing, decorating and baking in an oven, it takes 10 steps to make one, and years of practice to master the exquisite workmanship.

Traditional handicrafts are considered an important part of Tibetan culture in China and recognized as national intangible cultural heritage. Today, Tibetan black pottery, more often seen as works of art, is sold in dozens of countries around the world.

Also discover the previous episodes of the series: Batang Xianzi, Ganzi tap dance, Tibetan opera and Tibetan folk song

(Cover image by Feng Yuan)