Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tibetan Calligraphy

For the last few weeks I've been learning Tibetan calligraphy. There a lot of different Tibetan scripts - you can see some cool examples of Tibetan calligraphy here.

Before I could only read and write in a script called U-chan (dbu chanདབུ་ཅན) which means "with head" because it has a thick horizontal line at the top. This is the script that computers usually have and the one most books are printed in. However, most people can't write it and if they can, it takes a lot of effort like it would to make your handwriting look like a typewriter.

Now I'm learning a script called U-me (bdu medདབུ་མེད) which means "head-less" because it doesn't have the the thick horizontal line at the top (the "head"). My goal though is to learn the Kyu-yig ('khyug yigའཁྱུག་ཡིག) script that most people write letters with. It's difficult because there are a lot of short forms for certain letter combinations.

The picture is a page from my lessons. My teacher writes a sentence in red ink and then I re-write it a few times in black. I thought it would be boring and tedious to practice, but it's actually been really relaxing ... 


  1. Does anyone here know where I can find a western roman calligraphic script or font that looks unique to Tibet?
    I am planning to produce the sanghata sutra complete with cobalt blue paper and gold metallic ink.
    It will be in English, but I'm looking for the right font.

  2. Hi Daniel,
    I'm sorry to say I don't know of any Tibetan looking English fonts. Let me know if you find something cool though!