Students learn thangka painting at a training base of ethnic handicrafts making in Kabma Township of Qamdo, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Oct. 3, 2020.
In recent years, Tibet has made great efforts to develop modern vocational education. A training base of ethnic handicrafts making was set up in Kabma Township by the 88-year-old Gama Deleg, an inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage Karma Gardri, which is a genre of thangka painting. At present, a total of 460 apprentices study thangka painting here.
The base upgraded the production mode of traditional handicrafts and advanced poverty alleviation. With a per capita income of about 200,000 yuan (about 30,217 U.S. dollars) last year, 112 apprentices have helped their families shake off poverty by the craft of painting thangka.
Thangka is a form of Tibetan Buddhist scroll painting on cotton or silk, with mineral and organic pigments derived from coral, agate, sapphire, pearl, and gold. The paintings typically depict Buddhist deities with colors that can remain intact for centuries.