When in China: Traditional oil paper umbrellas shine in modern age

A woman makes an oil paper umbrella in Fenshui town, Luzhou, Southwest China's Sichuan province.

Although oil paper umbrellas have lost their practical function today, they are still attracting modern customers in another way.
In Luzhou's Fenshui, Southwest China's Sichuan province, the history of making oil paper umbrellas can be traced back more than 400 years.
The township is still largely dependent on this industry, and the traditional technique of making oil paper umbrellas there has been recognized as a state-level intangible cultural heritage since 2008.

Attention to detail is necessary to make an oil paper umbrella
According to Bi Yuanshen, an inheritor of the technique, oil paper umbrellas were greatly challenged and impacted when modern cloth umbrellas started to appear in the 1980s.
"But after the technique was recognized as an intangible cultural heritage, the industry has essentially improved," he said. "Because many more people know our products, and how sophisticated and beautiful they are, we can sell them not only as umbrellas, but also as decorations, gifts and artworks."
Delicate flowers accent this oil paper umbrella

Two women work on a giant oil paper umbrella in Fenshui town, Sichuan Province, Southwest of China

A man chops bamboo used to make oil paper umbrellas

Oil paper umbrellas decorate a ceiling in Fenshui town, Luzhou, Southwest China's Sichuan province
What do you think of these oil paper umbrellas, and its continuous old tradition? Share us your thoughts below :D



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