Latest News:  

English>>Life & Culture

Going back to root causes

By Deng Zhangyu (China Daily)

10:13, June 13, 2013

Liu Yiheng, owner of Daziran root carving factory in Lushan county, shows a carved Buddha which was damaged during the quake. (China Daily / Zhu Xingxin)

When disaster strikes, some things must be put on hold. In Sichuan, the recent earthquake shattered many lives, and also damaged a time-honored craft. Deng Zhangyu reports from Lushan county.

The drive for profit often comes before all else, but in the face of disaster, it has to take a backseat as people's priorities shift from making money to rebuilding their devastated lives. Such is the case in Lushan county in Sichuan province where a maganitude-7 quake hit in April.

In a street lined with hundreds of root carving shops, piles of muted dark ebony wood lie neglected.

This is not just any wood, but a semi-fossilized species of local hardwood that has been lying at the bottom of the great rivers for thousands of years. They are mainly found in Sichuan province, especially in areas not far away from Lushan.

In Lushan, carvings displayed in shop windows along the "root-carving street" are all made from this precious wood, which has been turned into tea sets, decorative sculptures and furniture.

Residents here are proud that this is the biggest ebony-root carving market in China.

Now, however, they are concentrating on rebuilding their ruined homes. The root carving industry will have to wait its turn to be revived.

"Some workers at my factory have gone home to rebuild their houses. I've been busy repairing my shop and factory since the quake," says Wang Linkang, standing by a pile of ebony at the factory behind his shop.

The walls of his factory had collapsed. The walls of the display section of his shop had cracked. Many of his carvings were also damaged during the quake.

Lushan was above the epicenter of the quake and was subsequently the worst hit.

The root carvings at Wang's shop cost from several thousand to hundreds of thousands yuan. Most items averaged about 40,000 yuan ($6,500), says the 43-year-old entrepreneur.

Wang has been in business for more than 10 years, and he says the boom only came about two years ago when the demand for the ebony carvings started soaring. Business had been especially good this year before the quake hit.

"The quake destroyed it. Our clients will not come. People involved in the business have to rebuild their houses first," says Wang, whose factory has about 10 workers.

【1】 【2】

We recommend:

Top 10 beautiful gardens around world

Look! A new life on the red planet

China Final of Miss Tourism Int'l 2013

Top 10 endangered attractions in the world

Beauties at cheerleading championship

Former Residence of Pu Songling

Top 15 destinations for you moving abroad

Fan Bingbing honored as THR's International Artist

Top 10 relaxing summer destinations in China

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiQian、Ye Xin)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Austria peacekeepers start to withdraw

  2. Chinese public service ship starts voyage

  3. Afghan child labor works

  4. Hospitals, Red Cross slow to adopt system

  5. Suspected food poisoning sickens 160

  6. Teach children to avoid abuse: experts

  7. Top 10 'small' countries with features

  8. Soccer match: China VS. the Netherlands

  9. Turn white rabbit to 'gold'

  10. China owned MG unveils new car

Most Popular


  1. Market demand adds new dimension to trade row
  2. Optimism remains over resumption of talks
  3. Space dream crystallized with Shenzhou-10 launch
  4. Enthusiasts dream big after Shenzhou-10 launch
  5. Surprise at slower foreign trade growth
  6. Food waste hinders China's green shift
  7. Businesses benefit from 'gaokao economy'
  8. Sex education–a need to be open in China
  9. Deter jaywalking with shock photos
  10. Deep-voiced bosses top earners, managers

What’s happening in China

Turn white rabbit to 'gold' - A young entrepreneur's goal

  1. Hospitals, Red Cross slow to adopt system
  2. Boy's death focuses attention on child labor
  3. Banknotes worth $65,240 eaten by termintes
  4. Building collapses after blast in E China
  5. Names of victims in fatal NE plant fire released