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Attempting to build a future for his craft

Tradition inheritor longs for someone to take up the tools and follow in his footsteps, Zhang Yu reports in Shijiazhuang.

By Zhang Yu | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-03-24 08:34

Zhao learns the skills from his instructor Xu Yaode in 2008.[Photo provided by Gu Binjie and Chen Feng/For China Daily]

"In our mining area, the older generations always built the roofs of their houses with them. After long exposure to a dry environment, the roofs would be stronger and more durable."

Xu had more than 20 students, but after all these years, Zhao has become the only one in the area still practicing the craft.

Although currently alone in doing so, Zhao still hopes to nurture young people to carry on his legacy. He often goes to local schools to teach pupils to make simple structures with stalks, in an attempt to spark their interest.

"I hope there will be young people who fall in love with it in the future and join me to help pass on the craft," Zhao says.

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