Cham’s traditional craft of pottery to seek UNESCO regconition
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has asked the south central province of Ninh Thuan to compile a dossier on the Cham people’s traditional craft of pottery to apply for UNESCO recognition as an intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding.
The south central province of Ninh Thuan is asked to compile a dossier on the Cham people’s traditional craft of pottery to apply for UNESCO recognition. (Photo: VNA)
The ministry advised the province to conduct surveys and studies and invite other localities where Cham people engage in the traditional craft of pottery to join in creating the dossier.
One of the most outstanding features of the Cham people’s traditional pottery making is the technique of shaping their wares by hand rather than a wheel and using simple tools or shells to decorate them.
The products are then dried under the sun from four to six hours before being fired outdoors using straw or wood.
The skillful hands of the Cham people have created a variety of products which they use for their daily activities and spiritual worship. Some of their products include cylindrical jars where they keep water or rice, reliefs, decorative lamps, and statuettes of Apsara or Siva Gods.
Their works showcase the creativity and unique culture of the Cham people.
Cham people use their bare hands to shape pottery products, rather than a wheel. (Photo: VNA)
The pottery making craft of the Cham people in Binh Thuan province and Bau Truc Village in Ninh Thuan has been included in the list of the country’s intangible cultural heritage.
Bau Truc Village is one of the oldest pottery villages in Southeast Asia. About 85 per cent of the village’s 400 households make pottery.
The Cham in the southern region have 9 craft villages, 4 of them famous for weaving and pottery, the traditional Cham handicrafts.
These 4 villages are hundreds of years old. They are Bau Truc pottery village in Ninh Thuan, Binh Duc pottery village in Binh Thuan, My Nghiep weaving village in Ninh Thuan, and Tan Chau silk weaving village in An Giang.
The current problem faced by Cham craft villages is that their production is on a small scale, mainly by households whose marketing capacity is limited and unprofessional. To address the situation, some Cham craft villages have set up cooperatives and a closed system from production to consumption. Product designs have been persified and renewed regularly.
To help Cham craft villages develop, hundreds of thousands of USD have been invested in infrastructure, vocational training, and product promotion./.