28/11/2017 | 17:05:50

Phuoc Kieu villagers keep forge fires burning

An artisan puts the final touches on his workshop’s bronze gongs​. (Photo: VNA)

The village of Phuoc Kieu in the central province of Quang Nam is a centrepiece of the region’s history, with a 400 year-old traditional trade of bronze casting.

Established by followers of feudal lord Nguyen Hoang, the village was said to be his weapon production base in the early 17th century. It was again employed and expanded by Vietnamese 18th-century Tay Son army.

The village’s craftsmanship impressed the lords of Tay Son so much that their artisans were summoned to then capital Phu Xuan, now Hue, to make items used in royal ceremonies, government seals and even cannons.

Four hundred years have passed and the villagers are still keeping the fires burning in the forges. Long gone are the times of weapons making, with village now famous for its bronze decorative items and ceremonial artefacts.

Some of the most prized creations are the bronze gongs, ancient musical instruments popular among the region’s numerous ethnic groups. The village’s artisans passed trade secrets down from generation to generation in bronze casting and fine-tuning to produce the best products.-VNA

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