Driving 30 kilometer northwest of Kaili will take you to a beautiful mountain village where you can find hundreds of houses nestled in the valley of the mountain.Yes, you have reached to the traditional Paper making village Shiqiao.The village is also known as Shiqiao Miao Village located in Danzhai County, Guizhou Province in the People's Republic of China. There are about 860 villagers who are engaged in making hand-made papers and paper products. Fighting against the modern technology of paper making, Shiqiao carved an enviable position in handmade paper and paper products, which are known for its artistic quality for centuries.
More Than 1,000 Years Tradition
Shi Qiao Miao Village has a tradition of more than 1000 years in producing hand-made papers. The technology of making hand-made paper was carried forward from Han people to Shiqiao Miao people and they contributed their own refining technologies to produce the best quality of hand-made paper and for that they have been using tree bark and tree roots treating with spring water. Competing with the modern technology still there are about 40 families engaged in making traditional hand-made papers. This hand-made paper is naturally falls under the category of cottage industry and government is providing lot of support to maintain and promote the industry.
The hand-made paper from Shiqiao Village is unequivocal in quality, color texture and flexibility. The hand-made paper is very much popular among artists, painters, and calligraphers due to un-matching absorbency. The papers are generally categorized in to white colored paper and colored papers. The main raw material is the bark taken from mulberry tree and paper process is eco-friendly and so it is a green product. There are ten delicate process to convert the bark in to pulp and then in to paper.As part of the promotion and protection of the handmade paper making tradition, the traditional hand-made paper technology and the craft has been kept in the schedule of National Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Architecture of Shiqiao Village
The architectural skills of Shiqiao locals are impressive enough, which are evident in the structure of houses in the village. Their architectural skills of Shiqiao villagers out smart their abilities in handmade paper technologies. They erect their houses over huge rocks by using wooden logs. The rocks are strong enough to hold the weight of the house and also you can see the artistic skills of their work on the rock blocks. Comparing to other part of China, the people in the village are leading a simple life and are self sufficient. They are not bothered about modern facilities. These people are sincere, naive and brave.
There is no entry fee to the visit the village. The village and other important sites are always opened for tourists.The best season to visit the village is during spring and summer.Tourists who are planning to visit the village are advised to take help of experienced guides, who can take you to various interesting centers. Visiting the hand-made paper making industry would be one of the rare expereince you should not miss while you visit China.