Chu Tuong bronze casting

Tuesday - 03/12/2019 03:30
In Duc Hiep commune, Mo Duc district, Chu Tuong bronze casting village is famous for sophistication with many anecdotes. Chu Tuong in the Chinese means the village of the casters (chu = worker, tuong = casting). The village is located southwest of Vom mountain, west of Lam Dien train station, in the middle of a quiet countryside. The starting time of the craft village remains unknown. People only know that the craft has been passed down many generations. It is not surprising that the village is located in the living space of Sa Huynh and Champa ancient inhabitants with the famous bronze casting tradition. Some documents state that the village dates back to the 17th century, once casting weapons for Tay Son dynasty (1778-1802), or in Nguyen dynasty some workers named Kinh, Hiet was invited to Hue capital to cast a statue for King Khai Dinh (1885-1925) and Pierre Pasquier (1877-1934, Resident Superior in Central Vietnam in 1921-1928, Governor General of Indochina in 1928-1934). But information and anecdotes about casting a "magic bell" for the main hall of Thien An pagoda in 1845, or casting bells for Ong pagoda in 1899 (built by Chinese people in 1821 in Nghia Hoa commune, Tu Nghia district), Thinh Thinh pagoda, Dieu Giac pagoda... certainly are definitely right because these bells have clear marks about being made by Chu Tuong village.

Bronze casting needs both technique and art. A finished product must go through many stages, such as modeling, mold making, melting of materials, molding and finishing of products. The origin of copper material was unknown, but good clay for modeling and mold making was definitely in place and considered by casters as gold.

Casting industry once helped the villagers have a very decent life: "Casting a betel scraper earns more than growing 0.05 ha of rice". In prosperous time, Chu Tuong village has hundreds of households doing this craft, making all kinds of products such as pots, cake molds, tile molds, worshiping items, gongs, musical instruments, even weapons, but the most famous is still bell casting when Chu Tuong casters, in addition to time and effort, must also devote their heart, must "blow the soul" in order to make the product as they wished.
        Photo: Thien An pagoda bell, Ong pagoda bell and Quang Son pagoda bell

Currently the bronze casting profession has been eroded and the whole village has only 2-3 households working in bronze casting. Products made are monotonous, including only copper pots and very few other products. Therefore, the government needs to pay more attention to maintain and develop the profession.
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