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Craftsman's village sees silver lining from jewelry

Xinhua| Updated: 2020-06-09 Print

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Li Guangheng, another artisan, polishes a silver wire to make a bracelet.[Photo/Xinhua]

Pan employed two craftsmen in the village to work at his workshop. Meanwhile, he created job opportunities for another 16 artisans fulfilling orders from home.

Inspired by Pan's workshop, 20-year-old Pan Yuanding decided to return home from Hainan province in southern China two years ago.

"I earn 3,000 yuan a month here. The most important thing is that I am finally able to learn true technique in my hometown," he says.

Having made some progress in silver processing, he plans to invest one more year in improving his techniques before opening a workshop in the coming year.

Due to his hard work, his family shook off poverty in 2018.

Behind the growing number of young people in the village is the increasing importance attached to the protection and inheritance of the traditional craft.

In 2017, 140 villagers raised 1 million yuan to set up a Miao silver jewelry and embroidery company, and applied for a government poverty-relief fund of 580,000 yuan for renovating an abandoned elementary school into a museum.

"Tourists can learn Miao ethnic culture in the museum, and experience making the silver jewelry firsthand," says Li Linshu, president of the company.

Li Guangheng, 51, works as an artisan in the museum. Whenever there are tourists, he teaches and demonstrates the silver-making technique.

"I make 5,000 yuan a month here. Including the earnings from selling jewelry, my total monthly income is comparable to that from working outside," says Li. "It's also a good opportunity to promote our traditional craft."

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