Thai Binh Province is not only acknowledged as a rice field in the North, but also as home to traditional craft villages. Dong Xam Silver Village is one of the most famous ones...
Throughout centuries, traditional crafts and craft villages have been existed and developed as an integral part of Thai Binh’s history, for instance: weave fabric in Phuong La, silver carve in Dong Xam, copper casting in An Long, lace embroider in Minh Lang, “cáy” cake making in Nguyen Xa. Of which, Dong Xam is a village whose population is skilled in metal carving and attracts a large number of visitors from other provinces.
Dong Xam Silver Village
Dong Xam Silver Village is located in Hong Thai Commune, the north of Kien Xuong District, Thai Binh Province. Dong Xam is a village whose population is skilled in metal carving. The craft of silver processing in Dong Xam Village has existed since the 17th Century.
As of March 2003, the village has been acknowledged as qualified craft village and has a wide range of consumer’s favorite handicrafts. Dong Xam Silver Village is known not only in the Vietnam, but also overseas. The handicrafts are produced for both domestic use and export to foreign markets, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Laos, Thailand, Netherlands, and Spain.
Silver has been used for many centuries, going back to ancient times. Periodically, it enjoys great popularity as it does currently. Silver is the most common of the precious metals. It is working qualities are very similar to gold. In fact, silver shines above all other metals in this respect. Silver carving products of Dong Xam village is so different from the ones of other places. Dong Xam’s products are characterized by strange styles of cube and appearance, by sophisticated and well-proportioned decorations, by delicate and perfect skill. It can be said that the skill and carefulness of Dong Xam artists have been able to satisfy all the demands for using silver carving products of customers who are difficult and knowledgeable about silver carving art. Dong Xam artists always think high of “faithfulness” and “talent”. Therefore, their products, which are always genuine and carefully-made, keep maintaining customers’ confidence.
According to the local people, 300 hundred years ago, there was an artist named Nguyen Kim Lau, who travelled downstream on the Tra Ly River by boat to Dong Xam to make a living. He transferred his silver carving skills to the local people. Over time, silver carving has been maintained and developed. After his death, the Dong Xam Temple was built in appreciation of his contributions to the village and the festival in the temple is yearly held to mark the anniversary of the progenitor Kim Lau’s death.
Dong Xam Temple Festival
Dong Xam Temple Festival annually takes place from the 1st to the 3rd day of the fourth lunar month and attracts many tourist from everywhere. The most exciting program is the boat racing contest on river with the participation of youth men in the hamlet and neighboring communes. Besides, there remains interesting traditional games and folk cultures like ca tru and cheo singing.
In the days of Dong Xam Temple Festival, a great deal of beautiful silver carving products are displayed and sold as souvenir for tourists.
Dong Xam Silver Village is expected to make a positive contribution into the implementation of provincial socio-economic targets and help Thai Binh Province to make rapid advances on the course of industrialization and modernization.