In Thanh Oai district, Hanoi, there is Canh Hoach village famous for making bird cages hundreds of years old. From a side job, it has become the main livelihood of the whole village, helping many households get rich.
Visiting Canh Hoach village (nominal name is Vac village) in Dan Hoa commune, Thanh Oai district, it is not difficult to realize the atmosphere of a craft village when both sides of the road are drying bamboo – the main material for making bird cages, and factories hang bird cages all over the yard, all over the facade.
To make a beautiful, durable and luxurious bird cage requires skilled workers, meticulously manipulating through a series of stages such as soaking bamboo, drying bamboo, sharpening spokes, drilling holes, making rims, grinding. , making doors, carving patterns. Materials for making bird cages used to be self-sufficient around the area, but now bamboo is often imported from forests in the northern mountainous provinces such as Hoa Binh, Cao Bang, Quang Ninh…
The person who is considered the ancestor of the profession is Nguyen Van Ty, who lived in the 19th century. After that, Uncle Ty passed the profession on to his son, Nguyen Van Nghi (stage name Ba Mi), until now, Ba Mi’s son, Mr. Nguyen Van Nghe, who was awarded the title of the earliest artisan in the village, continues to profession. Mr. Nghe also set a record with a bird cage 2.7m high and 0.9m wide and won the third prize in a bird cage making contest in Hanoi in 2011.
Canh Hoach people are always proud of the profession of making bird cages. Up to now, there are still folk folk songs that people talk about the profession such as: “O girl who wears a green bag / If you come to Canh Hoach, come back / Canh Hoach has a few fields and many jobs / Loves paper fans or knitting. wat”.
Although the bird cage is a product that is not too sophisticated or sophisticated, in Vietnam, only Canh Hoach is known as a bird cage craft village. In some places, bird cages are made only to serve local needs and there are no clear rules on size, design and materials. In Canh Hoach, in addition to professionalizing the profession, what makes the brand of the bird cage here is also the lines and sophisticated carving techniques in the shape of dragons, cups, turtles, phoenixes, four quarters, Bat Tien .. .
The feature of the birdcage here is to keep it as durable as possible for as long as possible (except in the rain). Each type of bird needs a certain type of cage, big birds with big cages, small birds with small cages, or there are small birds that like to be in big cages and how to create excitement for pets, the new animals often sing and act. body.
Mr. Nguyen Van Khanh, a craftsman in the village, said that with this profession, the older people do better, the skill of baking bamboo and boiling bamboo to make it flexible and anti-termites must be experienced to understand, but difficult to say. but learn from.
There is also the technique of sharpening spokes so that they are equally round and straight. This profession gives not high income but fun, the more you do it, the more you love it.
“The price of the bird cage is not fixed, the simple one is a few hundred, the sophisticated one according to the customer’s order can be up to several tens of millions of dong, working for a whole month,” Khanh said.
Through research, the main market of Canh Hoach bird cage is mainly domestic but also a large part is exported to foreign countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia… In which, the Singapore market accounts for the most, with about 70 cages per month.
The period before the Covid-19 pandemic was the time when bird cages sold very well. It is estimated that every day, the whole village exports about 3,000 cages and cars. After 2 years of raging epidemic, the market is gradually returning to its old trajectory.
The whole village has about 500 households doing the job, many highly skilled people get rich. The profession also contributes significantly to the economic development of the locality. The value of handicraft and industrial production is estimated at over 170 billion VND/year.
The bird cage in Canh Hoach village does not focus on plating expensive materials such as ivory, gold and silver to increase the value of the cage, but mainly relies on the creativity of design, meticulous details and durable and beautiful quality. Bird cage products are cared for from the cage to the base, the base of the cage is usually made of wood or jackfruit to prevent termites.
Coming to Canh Hoach village, visitors can also explore the scenery of the northern countryside and directly experience the craft of making bird cages. In addition, this ancient village produced two poinsettias, Nguyen Duc Luong and Nguyen Thien, in the history of Vietnamese academics.
Poinsettia Church in Canh Hoach was built in the Later Le period, now it has been recognized as a national historical and cultural relic.
Besides, Canh Hoach village also has a very beautiful communal house, which was ranked as a national relic in 1991.
Keyword: The village “builds houses” for birds, produces 3000 pieces/day, and workers can’t finish their work