Viet Nam News
THANH HÓA — Bronze casting in Chè Đông Village in the central province of Thanh Hóa has officially received a certification recognising it as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage, making it the seventh local heritage to receive the title in the country.
The traditional handicraft and trade of Chè Đông Village have existed for thousands of years and have been preserved and promoted to this day.
The trade comprises a sophisticated technical process involving many stages, each of which uses different techniques like moulding, mixing the compound, heating and casting.
Experience is often passed down through families and kept secret from other villages. This is why Chè Đông Village is the only place in Thanh Hóa Province that has preserved the art.
All the bronze items they make are meticulously crafted by hand.
Local artisans create items of worship, jars and particularly drums. They created the biggest bronze drum in Việt Nam at 1.21m high in 2007, and then the biggest bronze drum in the world which weighs around eight tonnes and is two metres high in 2013.
The artisans in Chè Đông Village also cast 100 bronze drums as a tribute to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Hà Nội in 2010.
Thanks to these outstanding achievements, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued the decision to bestow the title on September 4.
Addressing a ceremony held on Saturday to mark the recognition, vice chairman of Thanh Hóa Province’s People’s Committee Phạm Đăng Quyền confirmed that the recognition brought both honour and pride to the villagers and people of Thanh Hóa.
“In the short term, local administrators need to focus on creating favourable conditions for the workshops, artisans and villagers to preserve and promote the invaluable heritage of their ancestors.
“Besides re-planning the village, more incentives should be issued to encourage workshops and artisans to train and pass the trade down to younger generations. The bronze workshops also need to support each other to produce and promote bronze casting to make it become a major trademark in both domestic and international markets,” Quyền added.
Also at the ceremony, artisans showed off their skills to attendees.
According to Thiệu Trung Commune’s People’s Commune, 132 households in the commune were maintaining the traditional trade, but only 15 households at a professional level, concentrated mainly in Chè Đông Village. — VNS