Rimo in Tibetan art history
The Tibetan term for drawing is Rimo, which is derived from the words ri meaning “mountains” and mo meaning “girl.” This term has an interesting history and has been passed down through generations of Tibetans.
A long time ago, in a place called Yarlung in central Tibet, there was a nomad family with a shepherd boy named Lukdzi Agar. He used to draw pictures of the scenery he observed on pieces of slate and stones with chalk and charcoal. One day, while tending to his flock on the mountain slopes, a sun shower occurred and a rainbow appeared, along with a beautiful girl who was dancing gracefully and smiling at him. He was immediately smitten and ran towards the vision, but it slowly faded away.
When he got back to his house, he quickly drew her portrait on a slate so he would never forget her. The image of her was etched in his memory and the final sketch looked just as stunning as she had been in person. When his friends saw it and asked him who it was, he replied with “ri bumo”, which translates to “mountain girl”, but they misheard him as “rimo”.