06:00 | 21/06/2020 Society
(VEN) - As one of the oldest pottery villages in Southeast Asia, the Bau Truc pottery village in Phuoc Dan Town of the south central coastal province of Ninh Thuan’s Ninh Phuoc District is located about 10km from Phan Rang City, along National Highway 1A.
Villagers make the pottery using clay (from the Quao River) mixed with sand.
Unlike artisans in many other pottery villages, the craftspeople of Bau Truc make pottery in the traditional way. They do not use turntables, instead turning around their products themselves. The jars and plates gradually take shape with each additional rotation. When the craftspeople stop rotating, the product is completed.
Bau Truc artisans do not use electric or coal kilns, deploying instead a special pottery firing technique that heats products with straw and firewood. This method provides Bau Truc water jars with special insulation that keeps the water cool.
Bau Truc’s craftspeople use wet cloths to smooth the product surface, and then decorate them with seashells, snails or hand-made paintings featuring the daily lives of local residents.
Most residents of the village’s over 400 households are Cham people, and over 80 percent of households make the traditional craft of the ancient Cham people.
Bau Truc pottery products bear the natural reddish-brown or yellowish red, red pink, dark gray and brown streaks, which are characteristic of the ancient Champa culture. The most popular products are relieves featuring Cham women, Cham kings, dancers and everyday items.
The 12-century founder of the village, Poklong Chan, helped the Bau Truc people escape poverty by teaching them how to create pottery. Annual worship ceremonies commemorate his life and achievement.
Apart from household items such as jars, furnaces, kettles and pots, Bau Truc is developing production of decorative and fine-art pottery and ceramics, including lamps, vases, water containers, and tea pots, among others, for domestic sales and export.
Visitors to the village can try their hand at creating pottery themselves.