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China Hainan coconut carving introduction

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A coconut in Hainan, when the melon is ripe, people eat its flesh and carve its shell. Such a custom has continued for thousands of years in the tribes of the ancestors of the Li people. A coconut, under the carving knife of the craftsman, from green to deep, green to brown, black silk to white silk, the years also become thick and vivid in the time of coconut carving.

Hainan coconut carving is a traditional carving art made of coconut shell, coconut wood and coconut palm, which was included in the national intangible cultural heritage list in 2008.

How coconut carving was born

Outside the hand-made coconut carving workshop in Fudao Village, Longqiao Town, Haikou City, brown coconut shells are piled up like a mountain, and a few workers bring the well-modeled coconut shells into the workshop by the truckload. A complete coconut carving must go through the selection of materials, mold making, carving, the flowers, inlay, planning, finishing and many other processes.

coconut carving

Fu Dao village is known far and wide in Hainan “coconut carving village”, its coconut carving production process is said to be advanced. Since the Qing dynasty, the village people will be coconut carving for a living, handmade coconut carving workshops can be found everywhere, and coconut carving skills are passed down from generation to generation.

In Hainan, there is no shortage of coconuts. After drinking coconut juice, eat coconut meat, leaving thick and hard coconut shells, discarded. So, the industrious and intelligent Hainan Li ancestors tried to carve the coconut into a vessel, eating food spoons, drinking cups and calendars, serving rice bowls, drawing water scoops…… island can be seen everywhere coconut after Hainan people some fine carving, will fall from the tree into the island of millions of families, become Hainan people a vegetable and a meal inseparable utensils.

Learn Technique and art in traditional wood carving

History of coconut carving

Coconut carving, from ancient times is very popular. Huang Tingjian had received a gift of coconut tealight from a friend and composed a poem to thank. Su Dongpo during his exile in Hainan, after tasting the refreshing flesh of the coconut, also took the coconut shells and asked local craftsmen to carve it into a coconut carving cap, called “coconut crown”.

The birth of a coconut carving, from green to mature, from the ground to become a coconut carving, its life in the carver’s fingers between the continuation and sublimation. Coarse and green coconut metamorphosis into a simple and exquisite coconut carving, never overnight, to go through thousands of times of carving and polishing.

Nowadays there are also many interesting coconut carving arts.

carved coconut bowl

Carving the “coconut culture” into the coconut

The traditional coconut carving is mostly relief carving, sinking carving, and hollow carving. Coconut shell because of its special material, the only lack of round carving techniques in the field of Hainan coconut carving, but the good thing is that someone in the day after day to experiment, explore, with the effort, through the “mortise and tenon” plus “glued” way, and finally found a breakthrough point in the coconut carving round carving techniques The breakthrough point of coconut carving technique was finally found. The round carving technique of Hainan coconut carving will continue to be passed down.


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