Traditional handicrafts and intangible cultural heritage worth experiencing in Guizhou

Guizhou is an area where ethnic minorities gather, and it has rich intangible cultural heritage resources. When you come to Guizhou, besides enjoying the natural scenery, you can also experience Guizhou's intangible cultural heritage and gain a deeper understanding of the stories behind these unique handicrafts.

Bing'an Ancient Town: oil paper umbrella

Oil-paper umbrella, the earliest type of umbrella in the world, is handmade and made entirely from natural materials. It is a crystallization of ancient Chinese wisdom. Since the 1950s and 1960s, with the impact of industrial civilization, oil-paper umbrellas have gradually faded from people's lives and are now only valued as cultural relics. However, there are still over ten domestic factories producing such products. In the Beng'an Ancient Town, you can experience this intangible cultural heritage.

Ma Liao Village: Handmade Miao Silver

The Miao people love wearing silver accessories. Miao silver craftsmanship is complex, requiring a dozen or more steps to complete a piece of silver jewelry. The entire process is done by hand, in household workshops. The silversmith first melts the silver and shapes it into thin sheets, silver bars, or silver wires. Then, with techniques like casting, embossing, carving, and engraving, they create exquisite patterns before welding or weaving them into the final form. It is meaningful to create a piece of work with your own hands while traveling. In the century-old silver village of Maliao, you can quickly unlock the intangible cultural heritage skills and who knows, you might become the next outstanding silversmith.

Danzhai County: Traditional papermaking

Papermaking is one of the Four Great Inventions of ancient China, making a great contribution to human civilization. The traditional papermaking technique in Shiqiao, Danzhai County, Qiandongnan Prefecture, differs greatly from the one recorded in the book "Tiangong Kaiwu" by Song Yingxing in the Ming Dynasty. The production process of Shiqiao white bark paper follows the papermaking technique in the Tang Dynasty, using local materials such as mulberry bark, Chinese fir roots, and clear spring water. Almost all of the more than ten steps are done by hand, including collecting materials, soaking in the river, steaming and boiling, beating pulp, papermaking, pressing, and drying.

Nan Gui Village: Wax Printing

Batik is one of the three ancient printing and dyeing techniques in ancient China, also known as "wax painting", "wax curtain" or "wax oil". It is the earliest dyeing technique used by humans. After experiencing several dynastic changes, central plains batik was gradually replaced by other techniques such as silk weaving, brocade, and embroidery, and only a few minority areas preserved it. Miao batik is created by using a wax knife to apply melted wax onto the fabric, then dyeing it with indigo. After dyeing, the fabric is boiled in water to remove the wax and reveal the patterns. During the dyeing process, the wax naturally cracks, resulting in unique "ice patterns", which are particularly charming.