Dai Bai village remains traditional craft of casting bronze

Published: 05/07/2012 03:42



Đại Bái village, formerly called Văn Lãng, is 30km north of Hanoi’s center. In its heyday in the early eleventh century, Dai Bai was well-known for casting household utensils. Guilds were created to supply a range of bronze things like pots, trays, kettles, and basins. For several years, the village was renowned for manufacturing devotional things like statues, urns, vases, and parallel sentences.

Đại Bái village in the northern province of Bac Ninh follows a standard craft of casting bronze items- a profession, that has been living for many years. Rising costs of input materials, and reduced demand in recent years have had a negative impact on the village’s business. During this context, some crafstmen have turned to portrait statues in an effort to stay their craft alive.

Cooperatives with  Vietnam culture travel have been established and machines invented to improve product quality, but local business has been seriously hurt by recent global economic troubles. Many workshops have closed and their workers have had to find new jobs. Some households have found a way to save their livelihoods by casting portrait statues. Đinh Văn Tới owns a bronze casting facility in Đại Bái: "Many people now want statues of their parents or ancestors cast in bronze for worshiping. Some look for portrait statues of historical figures while others favor bronze statues to decorate their houses and balance Yin and Yang".

Most workshop ownsers say their customers prefer statues of Buddha, national heroes or their ancestors as a way to educate their children about family traditions. Nguyễn Văn Trung is a customer: "Portrait statues capture physical appearances. I have ordered statues of my parents and will place them on family altars".

It takes about a month for bronze casters to create a bust, whose price ranges between 600 and 700 USD basing on the size and weight. Statues of Buddha are more expensive as they ask greater skill and sophistication. Dinh Xuan Chien, Deputy director of the Cultural Heritage Company talks about Đại Bái village’s future: "Local production will continue to focus on Buddha statues and portrait statues as demand is growing rapidly"

Lots of workshops in the village have restored their production levels and the traditional craft of bronze casting is step by step back on track.   
Source: VOV

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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