Rattan weaving becomes key to prosperity of Hanzhong, NW China's Shaanxi

(People's Daily Online) 14:09, January 19, 2024

Rattan weaving in Hanzhong city, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, which was listed on the fifth batch of national intangible cultural heritages in 2021, has become a "golden key" to prosperity and rural revitalization of the city in recent years.

At a company in Huangguan township, Nanzheng district of the city, 62-year-old artisan Mou Yongqin was weaving a rattan sofa on Jan. 10, 2024. "I can finish this rattan sofa three days later and earn some money," Mou said.

Mou Yongqin, a rattan weaving artisan, weaves a rattan sofa in Huangguan township, Nanzheng district, Hanzhong city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Jan. 10, 2024. (Photo/Yang Luya)

Mou, a villager in Shuijing village of the township, has over 20 years of experience in rattan weaving. She works for the company during the lean farming season.

The company is a local leading rattan weaving firm with over 2,600 employees. "We encourage people to actively join the rattan weaving industry. Workers earn money for every order they complete, which effectively promotes employment," said Chen Liangshun, chairman of the company.

Chen Lingkai, Chen Liangshun's son, runs an e-commerce company to sell rattan woven products, with annual sales worth more than 33 million yuan.

Over the past years, Huangguan township has invested 46 million yuan ($6.5 million) to turn it into a core area of the city's intangible cultural heritage industry.

"At present, a development model featuring leading companies established by inheritors, cooperatives in collaboration with artisans and family workshops has taken shape," said Chen Yan, deputy head of Huangguan township.

The official added that over 3,000 people from more than 1,200 households in the township have joined the weaving industry, which expands the annual income for each of these families by an average of more than 10,000 yuan.

To adapt to market demand, the company adheres to innovation. In addition to traditional rattan woven products, it has launched various souvenirs popular with customers.

In recent years, Huangguan township has introduced a series of measures to promote the innovative development of rattan woven products, and constantly explores new areas for the sector.

So far, the township has built a study tour base for rattan weaving and one for yellow rice wine, attracting over 3,000 students from 16 universities, including Northwest University in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi, and Nanjing University in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province.

"In the first half of last year, our township received 288,000 tourist visits, generating total tourism revenue of 118 million yuan," Chen Yan said.

In 2023, Hanzhong rolled out more support policies to encourage counties and districts to develop the intangible cultural heritage industry by tapping intangible cultural heritage resources like rattan weaving, bamboo weaving, Qiang embroidery, Miao embroidery and lacquerware.

Intangible cultural heritage products from the city, such as rattan woven products, green tea, and yellow wine, are sold to domestic and overseas markets through e-commerce platforms, generating wealth for local people.

Hanzhong has established 102 intangible cultural heritage workshops, bases and organizations in recent years, enabling over 50,000 people to work from home.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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