Where the Dalai Lama resides, Tibet is obviously a very religious and holy land. As such, their artwork has always been in association with their faith, beliefs and rituals—from rock art and rugs to dolls and jewelry. Even the best of Tibetan architecture is best seen through their magnificent temples.
Tibetan rock art dates as far back as 3000 years ago and serves as the main historical documentation of ancient Tibet. Rock art—carvings or paints on stone surfaces—portrayed their way of life pre-Buddhism. Most of them show Tibetans hunting for food of such elaboration that even in these silhouette figures, one could effectively point out that the hunters were mounted on beasts, poising their arrows on the target (usually identified as yaks).
The earliest depiction of Buddhism showed a man resembling a mahasiddha (yogi) painted with ochre dye.
Rugs are a Tibetan specialty, traced as far as a thousand years ago. By then rugs weren't considered a serious art form until foreigners came across a house decked fully in these colorful sheets in the early 1900s. They were astonished at the exquisite works and exclaimed them to be "very beautiful."
After a few decades, the rug industry went under serious decline only to rise back up in the ‘70s. Now this seemingly simple task is considered a huge part of the Tibetan culture.
The rugs are made from sheep's wood called "changpel." tibetan beads are strictly, well, Tibetan, with an unusual process representing the uniqueness of these people. The Tibetans weave the rugs in a peculiar way, by hand with a complicated twist. Technology has altered the form a little but the intricacy remains.
These rugs are normally very colorful with intricate embroidery inspired by Chinese patterns. They're used for flooring, as makeshift curtains, and as sleeping bags.
Tibetan Lamas use coral rosaries. It is one of the seven treasures mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures, Coral Jewelry like coral bangles, coral necklace , coral rings, worn against the skin, touching it, was long thought to be powerful talisman that could stop bleeding, protect from evil spirits, and ward of hurricanes.
The traditional center for the fashioning of coral is Torre del Greco, near Naples. It was Napoleon's Italian campaign, with its associated taste for all things Italian that heralded the fashion for carved coral jewellery. The rose pink variety became at this time the most sought after.
During the 1860's coral beads and ovoids were set into gold brooches, much like turquoise had been. In the 1870's coral was combined in bloomed gold brooches with diamonds and emeralds.