Thursday, September 16 2021


Gold laminating and gilding in Kiêu Kỵ Village recognised as natural heritage

Update: March, 12/2021 - 18:14


A golden statuette of buffalo made by the artisan Nguyễn Anh Chung from Kiêu Kỵ gold laminating craft village. VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

HÀ NỘI — Kiêu Kỵ gold laminating craft village in Gia Lâm District, Hà Nội, has a history of about 400 years.

Throughout the years, local people have retained their traditional profession with a craftsmanship process that requires ingenuity and sophistication.

The craft was recognised as one of eight national cultural heritages by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, on Tuesday.

Gold leaf making is a sophisticated work that requires consummate skill and patience as artisans need to complete eight major steps with dozens of small tasks. VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

The craft is thought to have been founded in the 17th century by Nguyễn Quý Trị from the northern province of Hải Dương, who then passed it down to Kiêu Kỵ villagers.

To show their gratitude to the founder of the craft, the villagers have built a temple dedicated to Trị and consider the 17th day of the eighth lunar month as his death anniversary.

Making gold leaf is the process of laminating gold by hand. VNA/VNS photo Danh Lam

Kiêu Kỵ gold laminating craft thrived before the August Revolution in 1945 when the craft of making precious gold was for most of the imperial religious works to inlay statues of Buddha, thrones, diaphragms, couplets, processions and lacquer paintings.

The traditional craft is practised by 50 households in Kiêu Kỵ Village, offering jobs for 300-400 locals with an average income of from VNĐ5 to 10 million (US$216-433) per person every month. VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

It was on the brink of oblivion during Việt Nam’s two resistance wars against the French and the US, but has been restored and developed since the unification of the country in 1975.

At present, nearly 50 families in Kiêu Kỵ Village still practice the traditional craft, many of whom are large-scale production households. VNS

To create a smooth and shiny golden coat for products, gilding craftsmen need to overlay the products with super-thin gold leaves while the paintwork is still wet. VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam



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