Magical Guizhou: Using Wax as Art and Silver as Ornament

Guizhou is a place that 38.5 million people call home. The multi-ethnic population has been living here harmoniously for generations. For centuries, the people of Guizhou have been using their great skills and creativity to produce breathtakingly beautiful arts and crafts. They have been expressing their profound love for this land through painting and carving. Guizhou boasts numerous traditional arts and crafts. These ancient crafts have been passed down from generation to generation, demonstrations of how the people pay homage to the land they deeply love. To let more people know about China's Guizhou Province, the People's Daily Online West USA Inc specially launched the "Magic Guizhou" series.

The tinkling "Phoenix Crown" is ornately decorated with silver flowers. For the Miao people, the essential beauty of an outfit lies in colorful and exquisite garments and in the large-size silver accessories that tinkle loudly like bells. 

Each piece is carved and chiseled by skillful silversmiths. It requires over 30 steps, including filigree weaving, embedding, and polishing, to achieve the glorious and luxurious finish of each tiny piece of silver jewelry. The creation process of each piece is a conversation with the nature of this land that transcends time and space. 

Horsetail embroidery is a unique craft that belongs to the Shui people in Guizhou. The threads used to come from horsetails. Before creating images on the fabric, the embroiderer wraps cotton threads around every single horsetail hair. The colorful threads are transformed into vivid pictures on fabric. With their needles and thread, the Shui people create beautiful images on tiny fabrics in loving dedication to their traditions. 

If we consider Shui people's horsehair embroidery as an ethereal world stitched onto fabrics, the Buyi people's wax-dyeing is the white flower that blossoms from the realm of indigo. Wax-dyeing, also known as batik, is an ancient craft with over 2,000 years of history. Craftsmen use white cloth as paper and waxed knives as pens, to create beautiful patterns and images. After the wax is applied to the fabric, then the fabric is submerged in a large jar of indigo dye later to reveal artistic and vibrant white silhouettes against an indigo background. The ancient technique of fabric dyeing is the charmingly distinctive artistry of the Buyi people. 

Under the ancient fortresses, the Nuo Opera mask makers are starting yet another busy day in the small streets. They are carving wood into ancient heroes. One after another, Nuo Opera masks - a Tunpu specialty - are being created by their hands. For ethnic Dong craftsmen, each piece of wood is an accurate measuring tool. They make drum towers erect from the ground without any floor plans. When creativity meets inspiration, anything in the world can be carved into wood or even stones. 

The Guizhou people have a variety of traditional crafts, they are epics worn on their bodies, and their values are engraved in their hearts. Every craftsman carries their nostalgia for this land and is their most loving expression for this world.

CONTACT:
Amy Zhou
Phone: 919.564.8043
Email: usawest@people.cn

Source: People's Daily Online West USA Inc

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Tags: Batik, CHINA, Guizhou, Nuo Opera


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