Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Reviving traditional Ewenki handicrafts: A celebration of culture and growth in Inner Mongolia


In the heart of Ewenki Autonomous Banner, Hulun Buir, in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the delicate craft of creating traditional Ewenki handicrafts continues to thrive. Among the artisans is 55-year-old Uran, an ethnic Ewenki, who skillfully transforms simple materials into exquisite pieces of art from her workshop. One of her specialties is the “sun flower” handicraft, a symbol deeply rooted in Ewenki folklore, representing the community’s ancestral connection to the forest and their longing for warmth and light. This unique piece is constructed from a round cowhide base, representing the sun, surrounded by radiating white wool, symbolizing its rays.

Uran’s workshop has become a beacon for tourists seeking a tangible piece of Ewenki culture. These traditional handicrafts have gained popularity as fashionable souvenirs, appealing to both domestic and international visitors. The surge in winter tourism, boosted by events like China’s 14th National Winter Games, has introduced a wider audience to these cultural artifacts. During the Lunar New Year holiday alone, the city of Hulun Buir witnessed an influx of over 1.6 million tourists, generating substantial tourism revenue and spotlighting the region’s cultural offerings.

The demand for these traditional Ewenki handicrafts has also sparked interest among various tourist resorts, museums, and exhibition halls. Orders for both standard and customized pieces are on the rise, contributing significantly to the local economy. Uran, alongside her daughter Aijim, who plays a critical role in the workshop, has seen the business flourish, with revenue reaching new heights since the Lunar New Year.

Beyond mere profit, the workshop’s mission extends to community development and cultural preservation. Over the years, it has provided employment opportunities for locals, offering both full-time and part-time positions. The initiative has not only lifted numerous individuals out of poverty but has also facilitated the transfer of invaluable handicraft skills to over a thousand residents of the area.

Located in an ethnic cultural startup park established in 2016, Uran’s workshop is among nearly 300 businesses aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and celebrating Chinese traditional culture. To connect with a younger demographic and expand their reach, Aijim has spearheaded the development of new products like fridge magnets and mouse pads, leveraging online platforms for marketing.

The workshop’s efforts have reaped rewards, with record sales in 2023, demonstrating the wide appeal of their handicrafts across various regions in China. As the demand continues to grow, Aijim and Uran remain committed to sharing the beauty of Ewenki culture with the world, one “sun flower” at a time.

Alex Sterling
Alex Sterlinghttps://www.businessorbital.com/
Alex Sterling is a seasoned journalist with over a decade of experience covering the dynamic world of business and finance. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering the stories behind the headlines, Alex has become a respected voice in the industry. Before joining our business blog, Alex reported for major financial news outlets, where they developed a reputation for insightful analysis and compelling storytelling. Alex's work is driven by a commitment to provide readers with the information they need to make informed decisions. Whether it's breaking down complex economic trends or highlighting emerging business opportunities, Alex's writing is accessible, informative, and always engaging.

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