Tibetan Handmade Paper Prayer Flags - Om Mani Padme Hum
Fair Trade from Nepal
This wonderful string of Tibetan prayer flags is made with sustainably harvested Himalayan lokta paper; Prayer Flags encourage us to open our hearts and live more mindfully. They are a meaningful and inexpensive Fair Trade gift to share with anyone.
The five colors of the flags represent the harmony of five elements in balance; blue=sky and space, white=air and wind, red=fire, green=water and yellow=earth.
Paper prayer flags are made with sustainably harvested Lokta paper using traditional 2000 year old paper-making techniques. Lokta paper production begins in remote Himalayan forests. The Daphne or Laurel shrub grows at elevations of 5,000 to 16,000 above sea level. The raw fiber is collected by local villagers by sanctioned wild-crafting (individually hand-gathered) or by harvesting from government-managed forests. Cyclical harvesting or pruning improves the future growth of the plant. After the raw plants are harvested they are carried back to villages for pulp preparation. The branches and fibers are chopped, soaked and boiled to soften and homogenize the pulp. Prepped fibers are then mixed with water and poured into vats, then sieved onto screens to create sheet paper. Natural and color-safe synthetic dyes are used to color the paper; after drying the paper may be individually printed using traditional silk-screened methods. Handmade lokta-based craft paper products offer much-needed economic sustainability for poor rural Nepalese people (often women).
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