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Historical memory: Legendary black pottery in Shangri-la

05-04-2012 08:22 BJT

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Shangri-la and its Tibetan dwellers have been the stuff of myth and legend for centuries. Heading to the ancient Nixi Village in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, you can take a closer look at the region's legendary black pottery.

Locals in the Deqen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture have a special tale: When Princess Wencheng stopped by on her way to Tibet; she taught the local Tibetan people how to make pottery. Centuries on and the craft continues to be woven into the culture of local Tibetans and Hans alike.

Heading to the ancient Nixi Village in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, you
can take a closer look at the region's legendary black pottery.

The unique black pottery is not just an art form. It is also a way of life - a key source of income for many families who make and sell the pieces. Today the craft may be somewhat commercialized, but its keepers stick to the authentic recipe.

Sunro Chilin, Tibetan black pottery artisan, said, "The black color comes from the way the pottery is baked in the kiln. We put it directly in the fire without any exterior coatings like glazes or colored ceramic chips. Then we put the piece in saw dust to cool them down rapidly. Sometimes we even pour water on them to speed up the process. "

Heading to the ancient Nixi Village in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, you
can take a closer look at the region's legendary black pottery.

In 2008, black pottery was put on China's National Intangible Cultural Heritage List. As a respected craftsman, Sunro Chilin has taught over 60 apprentices in recent years. The hope is that the tradition will continue its path forward through the generations.

Heading to the ancient Nixi Village in Southwest China's Yunnan Province,
you can take a closer look at the region's legendary black pottery.

Heading to the ancient Nixi Village in Southwest
China's Yunnan Province, you can take a closer
 look at the region's legendary black pottery.

 

Editor:Bai Yang |Source: CNTV.CN

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