Traditions survive only when preserved, an ideology that Thupten Gombu, a head constable in Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) posted in Assam’s Barpeta, follows through his actions. Gombu has taken it upon him to safeguard and preserve the traditional wood carving and painting practice of the Monpa Tribe from Arunachal Pradesh.

The art of traditional wood carving and painting came to Gombu from his maternal uncle. “I took training from my maternal uncle, Pema Tashi, back in my village for two and half years. I learnt both traditional and skills of carving masks and paintings. Now, I am also implementing 3D wood carving arts which generally includes natural elements,” Thupten said.

Hailing from Morshing Village under Kalakthang sub-division in West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh, Gompa utilizes his off-duty hours from his paramilitary duties in shaping his imaginations. He wishes to revive the Monpa cultural heritage while preserving it, as the substituted modern art and people’s ignorance is slowly depleting its essence.

Speaking of his aim, he revealed that he would start a training institute at his village for the younger generation after retiring from his service to boost employment. He believes that the field has enormous scope since these traditional arts have great interest in the markets.


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