The BeadStore is proud to be offering handmade paper from Nepal. Lokta paper, as it is called, is made from the bark of a laurel type bush that grows in the understory of the forests in the middle mountains of the Himalayan range. Nepalis have been earning a livelihood from harvesting bark and making lokta paper for nearly 2000 years. Ancient Hindu and Buddhist sacred books, some of which still survive, were transcribed on this paper, which is acid free, insect resistant and very durable. Nepal's long awaited democratic constitution, which was just ratified days ago, is also transcribed on this extraordinary hand crafted paper. In addition to its archival properties, lotka paper is very beautiful.
We offer lokta paper in large sheets which are ideal for gift wrap and craft projects, as diaries and note books in different sizes and designs, as cards and picture frames. One fabulous value is a stationary set consisting of 12 sheets of writing paper, 6 envelopes, and 6 post cards, all packaged beautifully in a filing envelope, ideal for saving keepsakes and letters. Only $15.
We are especially proud to be selling this product for two reasons. First is sustainability. Lokta plants are self-generating. All that is needed is a healthy forest in which the plants can grow. The paper trade encourages the people of Nepal to preserve and protect their forest by providing a steady income stream, especially to women, which depends on keeping the forest healthy. In this regard, lokta production is like eco-tourism, harvesting of medicinal products and wild fruit and vegetables, all of which support the people as they support the forest.
The second reason is about us. The use of handmade paper to express our visions and ideas is a kind of antidote to the hyperactive and frenetic world of instant messages, snap chats and the like which shape and distort our daily consciousness. This beautiful paper, embellished with ancient motifs and floral patterns, is a reminder to be mindful. Great gifts for ourselves and our loved ones. Each product contains a short explanation of the paper’s origins and importance.
We don’t usually reveal our sources, but make an exception in this case. When you get to Kathmandu, Nepal, don’t miss the Shangri-La Book Shop on Yak & Yeti Street, right across the way from the gate of the elegant Yak & Yeti Hotel. It is a very small shop, smaller even than our own bead store in Takoma Park. MD. But what an extraordinary collection of books and CD’s about Himalayan art, culture, religion, music and politics. Fabulous coffee table books on Buddhist and Hindu art and architecture, and ancient history! Also great post cards and extraordinary music CD’s with mantras and ragas (we bought six and gave them to friends and family with a bent for eastern meditations and rhythms. Great hits as gifts!) And of course this wonderful Lotka paper!