Life of people living on ornamental rocks

Published:  09:00 Monday - July 30, 2012

Life of people living on ornamental rocks

When you pass between Hanoi and Nam Dinh City might easily notice a 'stone town', displaying a large variety of ornamental rocks along the side of the road.

Running along six kilometers along the 21A National Road in Thanh Liem District, the town has works of stone of all sorts of sizes and shapes.

According to locals, hundreds of families in their town have started making their livings by producing and selling ornamental stones over the past 20 years.



Although Thanh Liem District has long been known for its large deposits of a type of stone called “Da mo coi” (rocks standing independently and separately from others), widely sought after by stone collectors because of their intricately beautiful shapes and colours. But local people didn't realise their value until recently, when war veteran, Nguyen Canh Hung, started trading them.

The 73-year-old man is now chairman of Ha Nam Ornamental Arts Association.


Nguyen Canh Hung (left) is receiving a guest at a stone table at his home

“I've had a special affinity for these stones since I served in the Truong Son Mountain battlefield during the American War. When returning home, I began searching for beautiful rocks in nearby forests. I displayed many ornamental works built from rock at home, and soon people started asking to buy them. Since the early 90's I started earning a lot of money by selling ornamental stones," Hung said.

After seeing Hung’s success, many people in the area followed suit. Gradually the town became known as a trading place for ornamental stones. In the past stones could be easily found in nearby mountains, but now people have started buying materials from cement factories in the area. Even though not having to quarry the stone save effort the work is still difficult and requires creativity and skill.

“First we clean the stones, then decorate them,” said the old artisan. "If possible, we keep their original shapes. But for some stones we need to carve, polish or attach to other ones. We also try to make the works look like realistic, like those you would find in mountains by decorating them with moss, climbing plants and small streams running around and through the stone shapes. This takes a lot of time and energy," he added.


Local people are working on the stones


The time goes by the town has now been dubbed 'rocky town'.

Source: Dtinews

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