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Visiting Vietnam's only gold-laminating village
  • | dtinews.vn | April 15, 2016 04:09 PM

Kieu Ky in Hanoi's Gia Lam District is the Vietnam's only village which specialises in laminating gold by hand.

Over 500 years ago, Nguyen Quy Tri who lived during the Late Le Dynasty (1428-1527) passed the craft down to Kieu Ky locals. Descendants of those locals now take his date of death, the 17th day of the eighth lunar month, as the annual chance to show their gratitude to the ancestor of the craft.

Craftsmen often start their work in the new year on the 14th day of the first lunar month with a ceremony, during which a famous and skilled man, often ready to help villagers, is given the honour of making the first hammer strikes.

Local artisans have to use many different sophisticated stages to make a finished product.

 

 

Firstly, artisans use hammers to beat out a 24k gold or sliver bar to be thinner and longer before cutting them into 1cm pieces.

 

Then these pieces are added between La quy, a special material made from traditional paper, covered by an ink made from pine resin, sawdust, glue and buffalo leather glue. The ink is spread on La quy at least three times before being dried to ensure its durability.

 

 

 

A small precision scale is often used to weigh gold. One tenth of tael of gold can be laminated into a one square metre sheet.


 

A quy consisting of around 490 sheets of gold is wrapped by a cloth and then continued to be hammered for about an hour to become thinner. Each quy is sold for VND1.6 million (USD76)


 
The product is used to decorate statues, parallel sentences or sculptural works.


 

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