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Bumtha mathra to become a rare piece of artistry
Jul '08
Bumthang, one of the 20 districts comprising Bhutan, has been known worldwide for its ethnic Bumtha mathra which is considered as special, expensive and warm clothing for the native Bumthaps.

Made with a special kind of weave using sheep wool, the clothing has become a rare piece of art. A sudden gush of imported clothes and a drop in wool production has brought about a considerable drop in the production of this particular textile.

Weavers in Chumey valley have noted that wool is becoming rare and many are switching to weaving yathra carpets, jackets and other products for tourists instead of Bumtha mathra.

Manufacturers of this clothing have complained that the special kind of wool, tengye lyonpo's wool, required for weaving this garment is not available easily anymore. About 2.5 kg of wool is needed to weave a Bumtha mathra gho and two kilograms for a kira. While some 20 sets of gho and kira were weaved earlier when the wool was obtainable, craftsmen are now sitting idle with no work in hand.

As a matter of fact some craftsmen have virtually given up on weaving Bumtha mathra after imported raw materials and clothing have flooded the Bhutanese market. A slew of measures need to be taken by the Government to revive this dying tradition which was once considered to be a symbol of status for the country.

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