Member: Login
English Home | Travel Vista | Attractions | Cities Vista | Experience | Chinese Home |
tailor made
Home
Attractions
China Tours
Destinations
Souvenirs
Culture
Tips
Talks
Search the site:
You are here: Home >> Cultural Essentials >> Current Page  
 
We Also Recommend
  Folklore of the Dai Ethnic Group
The Clay Fertility Figures of Henan
Chinese Potted Landscape
Ethnic Arts and Crafts in Xinjiang
Chinese Fans
 
Suggested Itineraries
  China Impression Tours
Yangtze Rriver Cruise
Tibet Advanture
Scenic China Tours
Ethnic Customs Tours
Explore Chinese Culture
  Tri-coloured Tang
Papercutting
Chinese Cheongsam
Traditional Chinese Painting
Chinese Food
 
 

Reservation Center

Find/Book a Tour
Find/Book a Flight
Find/Reserve a Hotel
Get a Chinese Souvenir
 
 
 
Folk Art 1: Papercutting
One of China's most popular folkarts is papercutting. Archaeological finds trace the tradition back to the 6th century; it is supposed that the beginnings of papercutting were even a few centuries earlier. Papercuttings are used for religious purposes, for decoration and as patterns.
As is still partly the case outside of China, various paper objects and figures used to be buried with the dead or were burned at the funeral ceremony. Papercuttings, which were usually of symbolic character, were part of this ritual. They also often served as decorations for sacrificial offerings to the ancestors and gods.
Today, papercuttings are chiefly used as decoration. They ornament walls, windows, doors, columns, mirrors, lamps and lanterns in homes and are also used for decoration on presents or are given as presents themselves.

They have special significance at festivals and on holidays. At the New Year's Festival for example, entrances are decorated with papercuttings which are supposed to bring good luck.
Papercuttings used to be used as patterns, especially for embroidery and lacquer work.

Papercuttings are not produced by machine, but by hand. There are two methods of manufacture: scissor cuttings and knife cuttings. As the name indicates, scissor cuttings are fashioned with scissors. Several pieces of paper--up to eight pieces--are fastened together. The motif is then cut with sharp, pointed scissors.

Knife cuttings are fashioned by putting several layers of paper on a relatively soft foundation consisting of a mixture of tallow and ashes. Following a pattern, the artist cuts the motif into the paper with a sharp knife which he usually holds vertically. The advantage of knife cuttings is that considerably more papercuttings can be made in one operation than with scissor cuttings.
In the countryside, papercuttings are usually made only by women and girls. This used to be one of the crafts that every girl was to master and that were often used to judge brides. Professional papercutting artists are, on the other hand, almost always men who have guaranteed incomes and work together in workshops.

Site Map | Join Us | Terms & Conditions | FAQs | Advertise with Us


China Virtual Tours is a part of ChinaVista.com services. 1996-2014, all rights reserved