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Farmers' Art Festival brings marketing profits

06-23-2010 08:58 BJT

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By the time the first Farmers' Art Festival came to an end on Monday, visitors had been amazed by the raw beauty of the various folk arts presented. But more importantly, the festival with all those happy visitors brought actual profits to the farmers.

In the exhibition hall, as soon as the girls sit down at the looms, curious visitors gather around. Hand weaving certainly enjoyed its glory days over the past 2000 years, but was gradually pushed out of the market by cheaper machine production. Wugong in northwest Shaanxi province has rediscovered this old handicraft and applied some modern marketing strategy into the equation.

By doing so, not only is the tradition preserved, but the farmers directly benefit from it.

A local weaver said, "We don't have much to do at home, so we started weaving. We can make money from that, around five or six thousand yuan per year."

At the festival, these beautiful wheatstraw pictures also attracted many visitors. Wheatstraw pictures can be dated back to Sui Dynasty some 1,400 years ago. Polished, heat pressed, cut and pasted, under the deft hands of artists, the plain straws become vivid pictures of landscapes and animals. Like hand weaving, wheatstraw pictures also bring farmers handsome profits.

By the time the first Farmers' Art Festival came to an end on Monday, visitors had been amazed by the raw beauty of the various folk arts presented.
By the time the first Farmers' Art Festival came to an end on Monday, visitors 
had been amazed by the raw beauty of the various folk arts presented.

He Xingwen, wheatstraw picture artist, said, "It takes 3 to 5 days to finish a wheatstraw picture. The average cost is around several hundred yuan. And a finished product can sell for over 1,000 yuan."

Ningxia Paper-cut, Fengxiang Clay Sculpture, and Xuxing Straw-plaiting. There were plenty of other folk arts that have become pillar industries for their local communities. And with real profits in hand, farmers are more willing than ever to be part of the tradition.


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