Traditional trade of bronze casting receives National Heritage title
Update: Nov 20, 2018
Bronze casting in Che Dong Village in the central province of Thanh Hoa has officially received a certification recognising it as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage, making it the seventh local heritage to receive the title in the country.

Artisans from various workshops in Che Dong Village show off their bronze casting skills

The traditional handicraft and trade of Che Dong Village have existed for thousands of years and have been preserved and promoted to this day.

The trade comprises a sophisticated technical process involving many stages, each of which uses different techniques like moulding, mixing the compound, heating and casting.

Experience is often passed down through families and kept secret from other villages. This is why Che Dong Village is the only place in Thanh Hoa Province that has preserved the art.

All the bronze items they make are meticulously crafted by hand.

Local artisans create items of worship, jars and particularly drums. They created the biggest bronze drum in Viet Nam at 1.21m high in 2007, and then the biggest bronze drum in the world which weighs around eight tonnes and is two metres high in 2013.

The artisans in Che Dong Village also cast 100 bronze drums as a tribute to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Ha Noi in 2010.

Thanks to these outstanding achievements, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued the decision to bestow the title on September 4.

Addressing a ceremony held on Saturday to mark the recognition, vice chairman of Thanh Hoa Province’s People’s Committee Pham Dang Quyen confirmed that the recognition brought both honour and pride to the villagers and people of Thanh Hoa.

“In the short term, local administrators need to focus on creating favourable conditions for the workshops, artisans and villagers to preserve and promote the invaluable heritage of their ancestors.

“Besides re-planning the village, more incentives should be issued to encourage workshops and artisans to train and pass the trade down to younger generations. The bronze workshops also need to support each other to produce and promote bronze casting to make it become a major trademark in both domestic and international markets,” Quyen added.

Also at the ceremony, artisans showed off their skills to attendees.

According to Thieu Trung Commune’s People’s Commune, 132 households in the commune were maintaining the traditional trade, but only 15 households at a professional level, concentrated mainly in Che Dong Village.