Dai Bai Bronze Casting Village
Dai Bai Village, originally known as Van Lang or Buoi Village, is located in Gia Binh District, Bac Ninh Province, about 40km from Hanoi center. The village is nationwide famous for more than 1000 year-old bronze casting tradition. Experiencing the up-and-down period of history, Dai Bai Bronze Casting Village still maintain their traditional crafts until now.
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The village is proud of its long history in bronze casting tradition. According to some historical documents, the traditional handicraft in the village was established in the early 11th century by founder Nguyen Cong Truyen (989 – 1060), who lived between pre Le Dynasty and Ly Dynasty.
Born in a Confucian family in Dai Bai Village – Bac Ninh Province, he followed parents to live in Thanh Nghe Village, Thanh Hoa Province when he was 6 years old. After his father’s death, he returned hometown with mother, and started larger production organization in the village.
He sent the forge from Thanh Nghe Village to the his village to repair agricultural tools such as hammers, sickles, knifes, anvils, and furnace… As results, local people could have better things, which helped their work of agriculture easier and more effective.
In the 15th, 16th century, there are 5 doctors in Dai Bai Bronze Casting Village: Nguyen Viet Lai, Nguyen Xuan Nghia, Vu Viet Thai, Pham Ngoc Thanh, Nguyen Cong Tam. These officers paid more attention to the organization and expansion of production, especially the assignment of professional specialization. By that time, the village was divided into 5 hamlets (Son, Tay, Giua, Ngoai, Trai hamlet), each with their own professional skill including bronze kettles, bronze pots, bronze basins, bronze food tray and one hamlet in providing materials and selling products.
Due to the complete organization, Dai Bai Bronze Casting Village quickly developed with remarkable improvement in their techniques.
During the wars, the craft villages were lost and the number of craftsmen also decreased.
However, thanks to the renovation, the craft village has been restored since 1990s. Nowadays, Dai Bai village has nearly 40 enterprises and more than 1,200 households to produce bronze products.
The first products of Dai Bai Bronze Casting Village were very rudimentary household utensils as trays, pots, pans… Time to time, many kinds of objects in many fields have been produced such as worship, incense burners, bronze statues, bronze paintings and letters, and bronze household articles. All bronze products are made by the skillful hands of craftsmen in the village, not only have using value but also precious works.
Today, Dai Bai Village has been vigorously developing with many co-operative and private businesses, and has earned the succession of achievements as the firm reputation. They invested in enhancing technologies with numerous home-made machines such as laminating machine, polishing machine… to replace labor power for time-consuming phases. It also helps the quality of output products more stable and can meet large orders with higher demands from customer as well as to broaden the market towards export. Some other products which bring high economic efficiency are also made such as locks, railings, motorbike spare parts…
In addition, thanks to the innovations in bronze burning technologies and decorations, the local household producers in Dai Bai Village can save about 70% of energy consumption and reduce nearly 80% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which cause environmental pollution.
3. Getting here
Located around 40km far from Hanoi, you can reach the village by several types of transports such as motorbike, taxis. Private Car/ Van with experienced tour guide are highly recommended for your best experience.
Dai Bai Bronze Casting Village also preserves many valuable historical and cultural relics such as Nguyen Cong Truyen bronze master’s mausoleum, Van Lang communal house, Dien Loc communal house, Dien Phuc Pagoda. The Dai Bai traditional village festival is to honor traditional products made from bronze as well as the hearts of the profession and to preserve the cultural beauty of the homeland, annually held every year on April 10 of lunar calendar.
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