Ninh Van Stone Handicraft Village in Ninh Binh
Ninh Van Stone Handicraft Village in Ninh Binh with a history of nearly 500 years have been made for humanity the unique masterpiece of stone. Legend has it that the village’s ancestor, named Hoang Sung, from the village of Nhoi (Thanh Hoa Province), came to Ninh Van to settle down, set up a business and handed it over to the descendants.
Initially, the stone-making workers made simple products for the crops such as mortar, miller, rice rollers, etc. In the long run, the products of artisans were diversified, modern, and larger.
Previously, the process of stone carving such as exploiting, transporting stone from the mountain, sawing, grinding, chiseling … was done entirely manual, so hard working, the number of products is limited. Today, with the advancement of science and technology, productivity has increased many times.
Most of the families in the village are made stone work; the products made here are brought to all the country and abroad. With the traditional beliefs of the village have been contributing to preserve the good cultural values of the nation, the children who are born in the village were eager to follow vocational training to traditional village’s ancient forefathers handed down to posterity forever.
Hundreds of years ago, Masterpieces of stone made entirely by hand which can mention the village of Xuan Vu Dinh (Ninh Van), the stone house of Mr. Luong Van Thien and stone houses of artisans Do Khac Duc.
Pham Ngoc Sy, owner of the communal house said, Xuan Vu communal house (Ninh Van) was built in about 1730 at King Le Canh Hung Dynasty. In the past, the materials used in making handicrafts were mainly iron wood, built of mortar and brick. Due to weather and war damage, the old village house was damaged so be completely restored stone, but still retain the architectural style of the old communal house.
The house has 12 columns (4m high) and 12 columns of stone carved finely, connected with each other very firm and solid. At the junctions are joined together by the precious wood and covered by the motif “flying dragon – phoenix dance”.
The columns are carved dragon, the columns are carved grass flowers, birds, especially four trees represent for four seasons: spring – summer- autumn – winter with Tung (Spruce) – Truc (Bamboo) – Cuc (Daisy) – Mai (Apricot Blossom)
The family is not only the place where the big festival of the village is held, but also the place where the anniversary of Hoang Son stone craft village takes place on August 16th lunar year.
The stone house of Luong Van Xien was made in 1934. It has been more than 84 years but the stone house is still like a witness of time. Mr. Tuan was one of the best stone makers in the village. He was invited to build the famous Phat Diem stone church (Kim Son, Ninh Binh).
After the construction of Phat Diem stone church, Mr. Xien invited the artisans to work in the countryside to build a house for the family. He and the same group of artisans have built the house completely made of stone architecture 3 rooms with typical of the ancient North in two years.
After he passed away, the house was separated by the descendants of the family together and kept the value of the old house.
A new record set by the young generation of artists that is the gate of Ninh Van handicraft village. The project was designed and executed by Tran Bui Minh Co., Ltd.
With the height and width of tens meters, the gate of Ninh Van village was at the top of the village gate is built by big stone in the country. The difference here is that the columns are built from monolithic rocks stacked up. The pillars have the curved dragon pattern, creating harmony bay, reducing the feeling of heavy. Layers painted on the stone, looking serene but no less spectacular.
A masterpiece of the spiritual line was set up by the Ninh Van artisans that 500 Arhats are displayed at Bai Dinh Pagoda.
Pham Xuan Hoan, said that stones to touch 500 Arhats were collected at Thien-Duong Mountain, each rock weighing 5-6 tons. To complete this masterpiece, the artist took about 4-5 years. Particularly, the creation of the 500 Arhats of the sculptors has shrunk for a year. In order to have a Arhat, a master and a minor must complete the three months.
The Arhat is up to 2.5m (with pedestal), different in shape, face, from eyes, nose, ear, mouth, cheeks … no statue of any object is 500 artwork stone carving of stone workers Ninh Van.
Other famous masterpiece have been built by Ninh Van village people with enthusiasm and love for their work such as monument mother, Ho Chi Minh City; Monuments Youth Volunteers, anti-American rescue, in Quang Tri; Mother of God, in Quang Binh; Tran Hung Dao statue, in Chi Linh (Hai Duong); Especially the monument complex at Truong Son Cemetery and Uncle Ho statue in Nghe An Province … have reached the level of sophistication, size and are made of large seamless stone.
According to statistics, Ninh Van has currently a total of 80 enterprises, 600 production groups and 1,600 stone processing households, with more than 3,000 laborers, accounting for 83% of laborers in the whole commune, 10 villages in the commune are recognized. It is a traditional village; the total turnover of handicraft village is nearly 200 billion VND.
Written by Tracy Nguyen