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One of the numerous steps of traditional paper production

Traditional paper of Nung An people

Dia Tren village has 65 households practicing the craft of traditional papermaking, a tradition preserved for many generations inside the Nung An ethnic group.

Many specific tools are used to make paper (chopping board, wooden beating stick, moulds, stones to squeeze wet paper, big cookware, etc).
The main material to produce traditional paper is the bark of May Sla (in local language). The dried bark is hung up above the cooking stove for usage all year round. In the paper making process, first the dried strips of bark are soaked until softened, and then cooked in limewater.
Next, the bark is cleaned and soaked under running water. After that, the softened bark is ground, then, put into a tank of water added with a kind of oil extracted from the locally-known as Khua Hao tree. The pulp of “May sla” is collected with a mould to form paper sheets, the sheets, then, are brushed and dried onto dried surfaces like walls.
This traditional paper has white color and a typical smell of local plants and limewater. The normal sizes of paper are 20-25cm and 40-80cm.
Ethnic people in Cao Bang believe that the spiritual world and their ancestors only receive their respect through votive money and items made from the traditional paper and Phja Thap incense.

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