Goenpaka: Kushutara

A stiff 3-hour walk up the hill from Khoma (1000m higher) brought us to Goenpaka, where the standard of kushutara weaving is even higher. Here the weavers’ skills are so highly valued that they are completely spared from working in the fields, and can weave throughout the day and into the evening.

Not only was the work more finely finished here, but some more traditional elements of design were usually retained. For example, most of the kiras I was shown in Goenpaka had a japang (or japgang) at each end. Japang simply means “bottom” and on the kira it is a panel where the stripes run weft-wise instead of warpwise as on the main part of the kira. When wrapped on the woman’s body, one of these end-panels ends up on the outside at the back, over her bottom.

Click photos to enlarge and see detail

See this gorgeous kira being worn by the newly-crowned Bhutanese Queen on her visit to India at Jetsun Pema’s kira looks familiar…

8 thoughts on “Goenpaka: Kushutara

  1. Hi ! I saw your post first on Weavolution and checked out your blog! Just had a question for you based on what you said in the post “Kushutara is the complex
    supplementary weft brocade used for Bhutanese women’s festival dress and
    includes weft twining.”

    How is this structure different than a supplementary weft brocade ? Does this have 1 main warp and many supp. wefts that sit on the ground weft? And the pattern wefts are bound by the main warps? Or does this have an extra binding warp used to bind pattern wefts?

    I love looking at structures so was just curious because iv personally never seen Bhutanese textiles- never been interested in them but structure is still interesting to see!

    Thanks a ton for posting these pictures- helps to see things that one would not easily have access to!

  2. I’m so happy I found your blog! So amazing beautiful! In april I’m going to Bhutan and hope to go to Khoma… Would love to have the opportunity to buy a piece. If I do not come to Khoma, do you know where to buy in Bumthang or Thimphu?

    • I’m glad you have enjoyed my blog, Eva.

      There are many places to buy kushutara in Thimphu, and some in Bumthang – ask your guide for current recommendations. You can also buy in Paro, but the prices struck me as inflated there.

      Once your guide knows you have an interest in weaving, he will surely take you to see the weavers in action at Kezang’s weaving centre in Changzamtog, Thimphu. This is where I learnt to weave kushutara, and is one of several places selling high quality work in Thimphu: https://www.facebook.com/gagyelbhutan

      Have a wonderful time in Bhutan!

  3. Hello there!
    By chance I stumbled upon your blog and it’s fantastic that you have done a great deal of research on the textiles of my country Bhutan. I am particularly interested in the textiles from Lhuntse as my Mum is from Dungkar in this region and she used to be a very skilled weaver in her time. Sadly she doesn’t weave anymore because of rheumatoid arthritis.
    Will be reading your blog with great interest.
    Thank you for sharing your research with us.

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