English | Dzongkha Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Khengkhar’s Palang business grows

Sonam Tsheirng, Monggar
Oct 4, 2017

Palang is a wooden container traditionally used to store Ara, a locally brewed alcohol. Locals of Kengkhar in Monggar are known for palang making. The age old craft has been a lifeline of many in the community for ages.

The palang making business has turned out to be a good business over the years. It got even better after the Tarayana Foundation asked the craftsman to work in a group.

Formed in 2011, the palang production group has fifteen members. Thirty eigth-year old Chogyel is one of them. He learned the art of making palang from his paternal uncle over twenty years ago.

In the past, he made the containers as per the demand for it. “I made them only when people placed orders,” said Chogyel. But the way does he does the business changed after the formation of the group.

“After the Tarayana Foundation formed the group, I worked every day. Even if we are not able to sell all our products, Tarayana help us to market the products.”

Today, he earns about Nu 30,000 in a month from the sale of palangs. It takes about a week to make one wine container.

“First, we have to cut the wood into the size of flask. After that, we have to drill inside and then use a machine to give it a proper shape and size.”

The next step is to dry it in the sun for almost a week after which the outer part of the container is painted. It is then ornamented with brass or other metals, making it an exquisite piece.

The people in the east widely use the container to store and offer alcohol to the guests even to this day. For some, it serves a home decorative piece.

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