Himalayan Art Resources

Sculpture: Sandalwood, Red (Zitan)

Sandalwood, Red (Zitan) | Wood Sculpture Main Page

Red sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus) is a popular medium for figurative sculpture in Himalayan style art. It is unrelated to white sandalwood which is an aromatic wood. In the Tibetan language the word for both red and white sandalwood is pronounced as 'tsandan', a loan word from Sanskrit, which became further corrupted in China to the word 'zitan.' Not all sculpture referred to as 'zitan' wood are truly red sandalwood. Other dark woods of both Southern China and South-east Asia are used as a substitute, or, are said to be from the same species or family of trees.

Jeff Watt 5-2017

(The images below are only a selection of objects).