Thang Long-Hanoi was the place where famous craft villages converged in the old days, that’s why the old quarter of Hanoi is named after the specific products of handicrafts or goods. Today, some of them are still preserved and developing robustly.
Thang Long’s craft villages were established as one of the following three types. Of which, villages, such as Trich Sai weaving village that were formed by local residents before Thang Long was chosen as the country’s capital, and gathered in the Buoi area along the To Lich river. Villages formed by immigrants such as Bat Trang ceramic village, or those formed by the king’s orders like Ngu Xa bronze casting village. Professional guilds formed by skilled craftsmen, for example, Hang Bac street was formed by goldsmiths from Dinh Cong village (Thanh Tri district), Dong Xam (Thai Binh) while turners from Nhi Khe village used to concentrate in To Tich street.
Bat Trang ceramic village
Bat Trang ceramic village was established by artisans whose surnames were Nguyen from Vinh Ninh Truong village in Thanh Hoa province, and Bo Xuyen and Bach Bat villages in Ninh Binh province.
Bat Trang ceramics have been exported to many countries all over the world for centuries. One of the main importers was Japan, where numerous pieces of Vietnamese ceramic products from the 16th century were found at the port of Hakata.
Dinh Cong jewelry village
The Dinh Cong village in Thanh Tri district (Currently Hoang Mai district) has been renowned for its jewelry since the 6th century, reign of King Ly Nam De. Through thousands of years of development, Dinh Cong’s artisans have accumulated the skills to create outstanding masterpieces of lasting value, from earrings, gold necklaces and silver bracelets to other luxury ornaments. The jewelers not only follow traditional carving models with formalized patterns of mythical creatures including dragons, unicorns, tortoises, phoenixes, fishes, cranes, tigers and bats but also create their own new models for prices.
Though being gone through many turbulent times, Dinh Cong’s villagers are now aware of preserving their forefathers’ traditions. They are trying to upgrade their professionalism to create more high-quality products for customers and raise the income of their village.
Ngu Xa bronze casting village
Long time ago,Vietnam’s bronze casting has been famous for thousands years as evidenced by Co Loa bronze arrows, Dong Son bronze drums, the Bao Thien tower, etc.
The pride of the craftsmen’s art produced in the village include the 10-tonne statue of Buddha sitting on a 96-petal lotus pedestal and the statue of Huyen Thien Tran Vu in Quan Thanh Temple, which is 3.9m in height and weighs 4 tonnes; it was cast in 1677 under the reign of King Le Huyen Tong.
Hanoi’s craft villages are not only valuable and precious heritage sites featuring the creativity of Vietnamese artisans through many historical periods; they are also inspiration for all generations to contribute to making Hanoi a more beautiful, civilized and elegant city.