My first exposure to Tibet was in 2007 when I took my second solo trip.\nThe trip through Tibet\u2019s rural hinterland to the Everest base camp, through Xigatse and Gyantse was as impressive as the Potala palace and its treasures.\nI had gone in to Tibet without any prior research on the destination. There are pros and cons to that approach. I could easily have missed out on seeing the Potala because when I set foot on Tibetan land I had no idea of its existence. But thanks to a few casual chats with other travelers, I was alerted and I managed to see the astounding heritage of Tibet at the Palace. The good thing about going in completely unprepared is that nothing prepares us for the sights that come your way. No pictures no stories \u2013 nothing.\nThe flash with which the culture appears\u00a0 before us is then dazzling and blinding. And so I spent all my travelling mesmerised and in a stupor of awe at the unique costumes and jewelry and architecture and cultural practices that I was surrounded by.\nIn Gyantse and Shigatse I met rural women completely bejeweled in ways I had never seen anyone do, and all they were doing with all that dressing up was making tea or attending to toddlers. This was not party wear but daily wear for them. A picture from an old blog.\nOnce I returned I was determined to read up on Tibetan culture and read \u2018Seven years in Tibet\u2019.\u00a0 Tibet was already so interesting and beckoning but the book made Tibet of the past \u2013 when its culture was in full bloom \u2013 much more attractive.\u00a0\u00a0 When it is so hard or impossible to go back to Tibet in the present day \u2013 how could I ever go back to the Tibet of the past?\nBut destiny is kind. And instead of me going to the Tibet of the 19th century, a small slice from Tibet\u2019s past came to me.\u00a0 Last year I had the opportunity to get acquainted with a few headdresses belonging to Tibetan Noblewomen of the 19th century.\nWhether such pieces are available in museums I do not know. I do know that photographs of women wearing these are available in some museums.\nHer are a few pictures of\u00a0 the extravagant hair ornaments on which elaborate hairstyles rested:\n1. THE PEARL TURQUOISE & CORAL HAT-LIKE HEADDRESS:\nThis one is so elaborate that an assistant is needed to help with wearing and arranging it.\n\n\n2. The PAT\u2019H HEADDRESS:\nA \u2018Y\u2019 shaped stiff piece decorated with pearls, coral and turquoise is fixed to the back of the head with the two ends jutting out as we can see in the pictures. These are then used as the base from which to hang long tresses of false hair. These used to be worn in Worn in Lhasa & the U-Tsang region. It is easy to imagine the women in Henrich Harrer\u2019s book wearing these!\n\n\n\n\n**\nThis is the limit of my information on the subject and if anyone has any more knowledge on Tibetan headdresses or knows of books or articles on the subject I would truly appreciate the enlightenment.\nIf you have seen these in any museums or books, please share that information too.\nThrough these objects of beauty, we can still visit the past!\nThe pieces shown above are a part of the WOVENSOULS collection and detailed photographs may be viewed here. \njm\nJuly 2013\nThe post Pearls in Tibet\u2019s past \u2013 The elaborate Headdresses of Tibetan Noblewomen appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.