This film is about how people make clay sculpture images in Mai su (Dzongsar), Dege County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China. I made this film in the sumer vacation in 2011. And made 100 copies of this to distribute to local and outsiders to learn about our crafts culture.
People who make sculpt clay are called '`dam pa in Tibetan. `Dam close means to mud ore clay in Tibetan and pa has the same mean mkhan. The biggest difference between this two words is that pa usually mean a male and mkhan could be both male and female. Here people make statures with earth or mud. Moreover you can also sell the sculpt clay statures. `dam pa are also invited by families, which want make clay statures for their shrine room. Nyi ma is the teacher of the sculpt clay image. He is inheritsor of this clay and bronze skill from in family. And make sculpt clay image, as a prototype is first step of making a bronze stature. So sculpt clay image and the bronze class in the same workshop. However you also can display a clay stature in the shrine room as well as a bronze stature.
About me--the film maker(Dawa Zhanma)
I was born into a craftsman family. My father learned his craft from his mother's brother, who is one of the most skillful craftsmen in the Sman shod area. He make Tibetan traditional bronze statues.
My father is locally famous for his delicate crafts. Some people even sell their products using my father's name. Whenever my father made some products, he would leave Sman shad and travels to surrounding area to sell his products.
And my brother became a craftsman too.
About film place--Sman shod(my homeland)
Sman shod is a remote valley on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau in Sde dge County, Dkar mdzes Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. The area includes all of Phu ma, Mda' ma, and Hyo ba townships. Its center is approximately 100 kilometers from Sde dge County Town.
Sman shod's 12,000 residents live in around 2,000 households. The vast majority of residents are Tibetan; a few are Han Chinese merchants. Approximately eighty-seven percent of villagers are agro-pastoralists, ten percent are farmers, and three percent are full-time pastoralists. People earn money for handicrafts and cartipilerfungers.
Sman shod is famous for its artisans who produce thang kha, sculpt clay images, draw, carve wood, smith gold and silver, cast bronze statues, make earthenware pottery, make clothes, spin and weave, make various items from wood, and forge. They sell their handicrafts in the local area and nearby Tibetan areas of Dkar mazes Prefecture.