Thach Xa village makes bamboo dragonflies

(VOVWORLD) - Thach Xa commune in Hanoi’s suburban Thach That district is famous for its unique traditional craft product – the bamboo dragonfly. From bamboo, Thach Xa villagers create eye-catching dragonflies.  
Thach Xa village makes bamboo dragonflies  - ảnh 1 A number of toy dragonflies, butterflies, tortoises, and peacocks made of bamboo

The village craft of making bamboo dragonflies started booming 20 years ago. Initially Thach Xa villagers made dragonflies as souvenirs for tourists who came sightseeing or to attend a ceremony at nearby Tay Phuong Pagoda. Tourists bought a lot of the toys, which were cheap at less than half dollar. As demand outpaced supply, more and more households got involved in making dragonflies as a main job.

Thach Xa village makes bamboo dragonflies  - ảnh 2Do Van Lien is creating bamboo butterflies

Do Van Lien, a local skillful craftsman, says the craft has now become his major source of income.

“The creation of bamboo dragonflies involves many different processes including splitting bamboo, body and wing dragonflies, making mine, wing assembly, and decoration. The most difficult stage is to assemble the wings to the body which must be precise to ensure the dragonfly will be perfectly balanced on the sticks or twigs. Villagers also make bamboo birds, butterflies, peacocks, and tortoises,”  said Lien.

Visiting Thach Xa village, you can often see children playing with bamboo dragonflies, and craftsmen busy creating the product.

Thach Xa village makes bamboo dragonflies  - ảnh 3 At Nguyen Van Tai’s workshop 

The most famous workshop in Thach Xa village belongs to Nguyen Van Tai and Khuong Thi Tan. The Tai family’s bamboo dragonflies are known for their durability and beautiful and diverse patterns.

He said: “I was the first villager attempting the craft. Bamboo dragonflies were first made for children to play and then sold overseas. Since then the craft has developed. Our product is often said to be more beautiful than in other places in terms of color, durability, and particularly precision. All of them can perch on twigs.”

To ensure the durability and flexibility for its product, Thach Xa villagers have bought material bamboo from Vinh Phuc, Hoa Binh, or Tuyen Quang which are home to forests of thin but solid bamboo.

Thach Xa village makes bamboo dragonflies  - ảnh 4

To make such lifelike bamboo dragonflies that can balance and perch on anything, craftsmen have to go through different processes requiring meticulosity and precision in every detail. The dragonflies are then coated with colourful paints and vivid patterns.

Tai said each dragonfly or other animals that are made illustrates a lively and symbolic picture of the Vietnamese countryside.

According to Tai: “Our bamboo dragonflies are available across the country, especially in major tourist destinations such as Hanoi, Hoi An, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, and Ho Chi Minh City. The item has been exported to the US, France, Germany, UK, and Japan. Foreign tourists have even visited my house. Many of them who have no idea of bamboo dragonflies find it interesting when they see them perched on any kind of material, even just a string.”

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