Together with Hoi An ancient town, Kim Bong Village is renowned for carpenters travelling around Vietnam to build beam houses and old three compartments houses which are still preserved until present.
A young talented Kim Bong carpenter is meticulously making the product's shape
Kim Bong carpentry village situated on Cam Kim land, was built from the late of 15th century. It takes tourists only ten minutes to go from Hoi An ancient town to Kim Bong carpentry village, Cam Kim island commune. As soon as arriving at this land, visitors will immediately hear chiseling and cutting sound from the East - West banks of the river. These sounds have become a vital part of local residents’ lives for generations closely associated with trees.
Cam Kim land located on the right bank of the Thu Bon river. ancient Hoi An used to be a bustling commercial port of the Southern Vietnam in the past; consequently, the traditional crafts such as Thanh Ha pottery or Kim Bong carpentry had opportunity to develop prosperously. (See our tour to Kim Bong & Thanh Tra village)
The exquisite wood product is made by the artist of Kim Dong carpentry artis
Located on river terrain which is quite convenient for transporting, shipbuilding and launching, Kim Bong village also delivers its products on merchant ships to many countries around the world. As a result, until now, carpentry products like furniture, wooden cupboards, Buddha statues, and so on made by the villagers of Kim Bong are still ordered by domestic and foreign traders.
While Eastern Kim Bong is well known for ship building, Western Kim Bong is famous for its wood-engraving to produce extraordinary products for decades, and Hoi An ancient town is one of forceful proofs for not only a prosperous period but also skillful carpenters of Kim Bong.
Thanks to the East-West cross cultural process, Kim Bong carpentry still reserves typical characteristics in its glyphs. Most carpentry villages in the North are more and less influenced by Northern feudal culture, and embodied with the mark of dynasties in history. Each typical patterns like dragons carried the power and the authority of each period.
Despite being gentle and rustic, Kim Bong carpentry is still exquisite, which visitors can feel from the images of Hoi An ancient town along with other products. The floral patterns on each pillar are pictures of plant stems and leaves.
The same dragon images by the hand of Kim bong carpenters carries bamboo- dragon symbols with its mouth soaking flowers and gentle smile. Not only pictures of Vietnamese farmers but also bamboo trees are included on each carving, which are rustic and closely attached to the daily life of local citizens.
A Kim Dong villager is completing his masterpiece with passion
Besides Hoi An ancient town, the imprints of talented Kim Bong carpenters is also recognized through Hue Imperial Citadel. At that time, when the Nguyen dynasty decided to choose Hue as the capital of the country, they invited the carpenters from Southern area to build their citadel. All the carpenters came from Kim Dong as well as Van Ha, Quang Nam area.
Kim Bong village is not only famous for carpentry but also masonry. They build tombs, temples and shrines throughout the central provinces. If the carpenters do the frame, the masons will cover the walls, roof and complete a house or village
Huynh Suong craftsman, the 13th inheritor of the Huynh family, said that "Kim Bong carpentry products are not sold on the market. From past to present, it is a job for local residents to earn their living. To create an outstanding product, carpenters have to put all their effort as well as enthusiasm on it. Therefore, each houses and furniture carry the skillful imprints of carpenters.
Nowadays, Kim Bong’s villagers come to everywhere of Vietnam to build ancient beam houses and three sections ones. The Huynh family, one of four families, namely Huynh- Truong- Phan - Nguyen, who have great contributions to the foundation of the village, is still proud of an old man Huynh Kim Son who took part in constructing President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Father and sons, Huynh Ri and Huynh Suong also become skillful carpenters on this Kim Bong land.
There are a lot of high-quality wood products in a souvenir shop of Kim Dong
Coming to Kim Bong carpenters village, tourists have chance to visit carpenter’s shops, view and touch carpentry products made by talented artisans. This place also exhibit special manufacture such as: unique incense bowl engraving 1000 dragons from bamboo image which was exhibited on 100 years of Thang Long occasion in Ha Noi and Cau Hoi An temple was adapted but still maintained its state.
The products of Kim Bong village now have differences with other villages. They are only painted lightly to retain the natural wood color. It is buffalos, pigs craved from rustic wood, from plates carved bamboo to young women with long dresses that attract the curiosity of domestic and foreign tourists and come here so that they have chance to learn about Kim Bong carpentry.
Nowadays, though Kim Bong carpentry products are not sold or advertised on the market, many people those interested in carpentry visit Kim Bong and order ancient houses as well as different furniture. And somewhere in Hoi An ancient town and Hue Imperial city still quietly remain pictures of talented Kim Bong carpenters and masons.
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