Description : Isolated from the outside world and cradled by the Himalayas, the art and culture of Bhutan have been carefully protected against the outside influences. Surrounded by China and India, Bhutan has allowed only a handful of foreigners to visit the country and only from the end of the 20th century. Therefore, the culture of Bhutan has its roots in the ancient culture dating back to the 17th century. The Bhutanese traditional art is known as zorig chusum and the ability to produce crafts has been passed from generation to generation. Artists from Bhutan are very skilled, especially when it comes to metals, clay sculptures or woodcarving. The finish products, such as mats, bamboo baskets and hats are used either as decorative or functional items. Each region features its own specialty and almost every art object that is produced is only for the Bhutanese to use. However, silversmiths, painters and goldsmiths do sell their surplus production and most items, especially fabrics are quite expensive.