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Folk Crafts

(People's Daily Online)

15:12, May 24, 2013

The folk crafts of Shaanxi have a long history and stand out with distinctive local features. The exquisite crafts take shape on the hands of the diligent and creative folk people. They not only indicate excellent craftsmanship but also symbolize the happy life of Shaanxi people. They are the shining stars in the development of Chinese art.

Mashao Mask

Mashao is a ladle-like wooden object which is often painted with faces of deities or righteous human beings in folklores to dispel evil spirits in ancient times. The patterns on the surface of Mashao are complex and with distinct features of western China. Nowadays, the Mashao Mask has become a favorite for decoration and collection.

Farmer Painting

The Farmer Painting in Shaanxi is the work of figures, animals or plants by Shaanxi farmers. The painting adopts bright colors to show the local flavor of the vastness of northwestern China. Most of the farmer painters live in counties of Hu, Ansai and Luochuan. Among the three, Hu County is reputed as “the land of Farmer Painting” with over two thousand farmer painters and a 40-year-long painting history.

Woodblock Print

The Woodblock Print in Fengxiang County is famous for its sprightliness and freshness. It is rich both in color and content, symbolizing a happy and prosperous life. Therefore it is used to decorate the house during Spring Festival to show the good wishes of the local people.

① Farmer Paintings of Huxian County
② Woodblock Prints

Steamed Bread Flowers

The steamed bread flower is very popular in central and northern Shaanxi. It is a type of traditional ritual bread made into various shapes by the local people for important festivals, wedding and funeral ceremonies. The exquisite appearances of the bread make it not only a favorable gift but also a unique folk work of art in Shaanxi.

Paper-Cut of Northern Shaanxi

Paper-cut is developed by the diligent women in their simple and easy countryside life. Paper-cuts can be of various patterns, such as plants, animals, insects and figures, conveying the folk flavor of countryside life. With great value for appreciation and collection, paper-cut is acclaimed as “the living fossil” and “the over-ground cultural treasure.”

Painted Clay Sculpture

The painted clay sculpture is a traditional folk handicraft with a history of thousands of years. Every sculpture has to go through dozens of processes from molding to polishing before it is finished. The sculptures are exquisite and vivid in shapes and forms, often painted in red and green color but sometimes with simple lines. They are precious lucky gifts for relatives and friends keep away evils so as to bring peace, happiness, and safety to the families.

In addition, folk crafts like the Qianyang cloth art, the Luochuan cloth picture, and the Weinan leather puppet are also very famous home and abroad.

①Steamed bread flowers
②Paper-cut of northern Shaanxi
③Painted clay sculpture

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