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During the opening weekend of the Eugene Holiday Market, the Honeystone Candles booth was located next to the I Love Tibet Crafts booth, run by one of the most interesting people we have met recently. Thutop W. Yuthok is a jewelry artist who started out in life as a pastoral nomad in Tibet. His family lived in a yurt, herding sheep, goats and yaks, just as their ancestors had done for thousands of years.

Thutop was six years old in 1959 when the Chinese invaded and began the slaughter of 1.1 million Tibetans and the destruction of 6,000 monasteries. His family evaded Chinese troops for a year as they walked to a refugee camp in Nepal.

Thutop learned to speak English from some of the first Peace Corps volunteers sent abroad in the early 1960's. For a time, he earned his living as a treking guide in Nepal, until the Nepalese government ruled that only their citizens could be guides. Thutop learned the jewelry trade and did teaching and social work in the refugee camp for 40 years before he was able to get to the United States to apply for political asylum.

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 severely complicated his application and he spent 20 months in detention, waiting for rulings and appeals. Because he was president of a committee in his refugee camp, he was finally given political asylum status. He made his way Oregon where he now resides and supports himself with his jewelry making skills. He hopes to do well enough to bring his wife and two of his children to the United States.

Thutop does not have his own web site yet, but he does have an email address and a cell phone. If you are interested in Tibetan jewelry, crafts, Tibetan Buddhist ritual objects, singing bowls or select Tibetan rugs, you can call him at 541-915-6215 or email him at

Thutop will have his table at the Eugene Holiday Market every weekend from now until Christmas. If you are in the area and looking for unique gifts, we urge you to drop by his booth and see his beautiful creations.
goodfortune, 171205 byte(s).
thutop, 87094 byte(s).
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(above) Tibetan symbols for good fortune amulet

(left) Thutop W. Yuthok

(right) matched set of necklace, earings, bracelet in traditional Tibetan motif
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(above) ear rings

(left) Baltic Amber necklace

(right) Amethyst necklace

(below) various necklaces
necklaces, 239637 byte(s).
For more information on Tibet, try these links:

Tibet Online

Tibet Information Network

Free Tibet