Recent development in the field of handicraft products in Nepal is the use of animal horns and bones to make a range of buttons, hair ornaments, jewelry, and decorative figures.
Bone and Horn crafts are made after the death of an animal. After the death of the animal, what remained out of its decomposed body was a carcass of bone intact and untouched by the atmospheric vagaries. This was probably the first encounter of man with bones. Overwhelmed by its intricate design, aesthetic and design his journey into the wondrous world of bone art began.
Horn is a raw material that is available almost everywhere. However, the crafting of the products is mainly carried out in the Kathmandu Valley. Horn is a versatile raw material and the artisans have shown a keen sensitivity to the material by using its diverse grains and colour variations to great advantage. When heated and oiled, horn becomes soft and pliable and the artisan can then mould and shape the horn into the required shape. The grain of the material and the variations in colours are used to create - naturally subtle effects while crafting the product.
The range of utilitarian products crafted from horn includes Buttons, Trays, Cigarette cases, little boxes, Ashtrays, Pen stands, and Lamps. Ornamental hairpins, Pendants, Combs, and Faux copies of jewels used as hair decorations are also made. Some are intricately carved with trellis patterns.