Da Nang will splash out nearly 45 billion VND (1.9 million USD) to expand Non Nuoc stone carving village from 2019-2022, aiming to preserve the traditional craft and create a highlight in the city’s tourism map.
At the Non Nuoc stone carving village(Photo: nguhanhsondn.com)
The village will be built on 68,160 square metres in Hoa Hai ward, Ngu Hanh Sondistrict, with all stone carving establishments having comprehensive infrastructureand meeting production safety standards.
In long term, if the establishments ask for more land for production, localauthorities will draw a master plan to move their production to industrialparks or industrial complexes to protect the environment.
The village’s management board was asked to work with competent authorities toarrange local establishments in the village.
Apart from its stunning beaches and breathtaking landscapes, Da Nang boasts theunique craft village to the south of the city. Situated at the foot of theMarble Mountains in Ngu Hanh Son District’s Hoa Hai Ward, this craft villagehas a proud history covering more than 200 years.
The founder of the village was craftsman Huynh Ba Quat from ThanhHoa province. In the late 18th century, he and many others from hishometown brought their families to this village.
There is a place of worship inthe village dedicated to its founding ancestors and villagers hold a specialceremony on the 6th day of the 1st lunar month every yearto honour their ancestors.
Initially, the village’s craft products were made to serve thedaily lives of locals, and included such items as rice mortars, grain grindersand tombstones. Most recently, its product range has expanded and they are nowamong the city’s highest value exports.
To maintain and develop their occupation, Non Nuoc carvers aredeeply aware of preserving their relic site and protecting their traditionalskills. The stone they use is now sourced from the northern region, not from DaNang as in the past, and precious stones are even imported from othercountries.
Stone carvingwas based on the experience and skills passed down from generation togeneration, but there are now professional training courses. There are morethan 300 carving businesses in the village employing thousands of workhands.
The village, which was promoted as an intangible heritage in 2014, enjoyed morecultural value when the Marble Mountains were recognised as a National SpecialHeritage in 2018.
It is a popular destination in Da Nang city, with nearly 2 million tourists in2018, accounting for 27 percent of total arrivals to the city.
Vice Chairman of the Ngu Hanh Son district’s People’s Committee Huynh Cu said thedistrict had allocated a 35-hectare area as a centre for stone sculpture andshopping in the master plan in 2025. The centre will include stone workshopsand a work space, and the area is hoped to become a significant attraction onthe Da Nang-Hoi An route.
According to chief of Non Nuoc village Nguyen Viet Vinh, the craft faces toughcompetition from mass-produced souvenirs.
“We struggle tocover production costs in comparison with industrial producers from China,while our designs are limited,” he said. Now 75, Minh has spent 60 yearsworking with stone.
“Buddha statuesand garden decorations for pagodas and temples are a good way to keep the tradegoing,” he said, adding tourists consume 70 percent of the products from thevillage, and only sustainable growth of tourism could help preserve the400-year-old craft.
"Thereneeds to be a plan to attract visitors who want to explore the history of ourtrade and village," Minh speculated.
Despite thedisadvantages, the village with more than 500 shops still generates 200 billionVND (8.61 million USD) in revenue per year.-VNA