陶器の町 ティミ Thimi


バクタプル Baktapur からカトマンズ Kathmandu に戻る途中にティミ Thimi の町があります。古くから陶芸が盛んな町で、窯元が沢山あります。Boss Nepal の「Thimi, land of the potters」の記事では以下の様に紹介されています。

Most of the residents here have the surname Prajapati which in Newari means ‘potter’. The name Prajapati comes from the Sanskrit language in which it means ‘producer’. There was a time in history when Thimi was a small kingdom just like Kathmandu and Patan and around four hundred ago a big earthquake destroyed all the buildings. After that, the King of Thimi moved to Bhaktapur and if we follow the story, then we come to realize that Thimi is older than Bhaktapur.

The people in Thimi boast of the fine and perfect hand-made pots and why not? The products made here are quality products that are able to meet highest of standards. These products definitely beat the mass production of poor quality generated (made) by the machines as the people hand-make their products, skillfully giving shape to the otherwise dust of mud.

窯元の一つ、Everest Pottery さんを見学させて頂きました。日本の方が近代化の焼窯の指導をなさったとの話を伺いました。轆轤を回しての、手作りです。作られた品のほどんどが輸出されるともお聞きしました。他国との価格競争となると心配もしてしまいます。

後継者不足の窯元も多い様で、ECS NEPALの「Ceramic Handicrafts 」の記事でも、触れられています。

There are an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people spread throughout Nepal who are potters by family heritage, but only a fraction these people continue to work in the ceramics industry.  Members of the younger generation, the children of life-long potters, often chose to go into other lines of work like transportation or factory tailoring because of more lucrative financial opportunities.  Most potters in Thimi are visibly ageing and hopefully, they will not be among the last generation to propagate clay traditions.

The Himalayan Timesの「As young move away, traditional craft dies out in Nepal」の記事では、

As more young people leave town for better paying jobs in other parts of Nepal or abroad, fewer families have to eke out an income from the relatively low-returns business of clay pottery.

と記され、若者たちがより良い収入を求めて海外などへ行ってしまうことも、大きな原因の様です。

Remittances from abroad are a major source of income for Nepal. According government statistics, remittance inflows amount to 30 percent of the country’s economy.

Of the nearly 2,000 Prajapati families in town, less than 300 families now depend on clay pottery for a living.

そういった家族からの送金が、政府の統計によると、ネパールの経済の30%にも達するとも記されています。