Par zo is the art of carving and another traditional Bhutanese art form that has been perfected over generations.
Major carvings are carried out on stone, wood and slate. The traditional designs crafted on these materials create beautiful and distinctive art works unique to the Land of the Thunder Dragon.
As Bhutan has been blessed with an exceptionally abundant variety of trees, woodcarving is seen in a variety of forms. The wooden masks featured during the annual religious festivals (Tsechus) as well as the many traditional motifs that are engraved on the Bhutanese houses and on Dzongs are all carved out of wood.
A unique wood carving that draws attention from visitors are the phalluses of various sizes and shapes that are hung on the four corners of traditional Bhutanese houses and placed over the main entrance door. These carved wooden phalluses are also wielded by the Acharyas- the clowns during religious festivals as a sign to bless spectators and drive away their evils and misfortunes.
The art of slate carving is also practiced and the master craftsmen are known as Do Nag Lopens. Slate which is found in both Western and Eastern Bhutan are used in such carving. While slate carving is not as diverse as stone or wood works, it is found in many religious scriptures, mantras and deific engravings and Slate carvings are quite common place in religious places such as Dzongs, temples and Chortens. Stone carving while less evident, is found in huge grinding mills that are still used by people in the far flung villages of Bhutan. One can also come across hollowed–out stones used for pounding grains and troughs for feeding cattle and horses.