Craftsman keeps dragon boat afloat

By JIANG KEQING | China Daily | Updated: 2021-06-12 08:44
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Chen installs a phoenix head at the front end of a boat in Daoxian, in May 2020. The dragon boats in Daoxian feature not just dragons but also phoenixes, tigers and unicorns. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Now nearly 60, Chen has been carving dragon heads for more than four decades, and was designated the inheritor in 2006.

He said the heads are usually made of water willow, which is light but hard enough for a bow. The hollow heads go through several steps, including carving, polishing and painting, before they are installed at the front end of a boat. The complex process takes a craftsman around 12 days.

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