Featured Artisan: Nisne
Prabin Tamrakar is a traditional jeweler from the Newari culture. Many of the jewelers that he works with he has personally trained in the traditional craft via apprenticeships. Prabin is able to provide a lot of work for these jewelers and they make good money while continuing a traditional skill. One such example of Prabin’s apprenticeship program benefiting the larger community, is Dil Bahadur Chani. Dil Bahadur is from a very low caste and comes from a very poor village in Nepal. In 1990, desperate for work, he came to Kathmandu and luckily found a two year apprenticeship with a traditional jeweler. After the apprenticeship he started working on his own. Now, Dil Bahadur is a master jeweler intent on teaching the next generation of jewelry apprentices from his village. Dil Bahadur brought boys, 15 and older, from his village to Kathmandu and taught them a valuable income producing skill while at the same time sending them to school to complete their education. Unfortunately, if these boys remained in their village, most of them would have been forcibly conscripted into the violent civil war that brutalized Nepal from 1996 to 2006. These non-traditional jewelers and their apprentices are making good incomes that are vital to their families and their village.