Me and my hometown | Gaomi Mud Tiger: The Year of the Tiger is more popular, mud bumps become “gold bumps”

2022-05-21 0 By

Qilu Evening News · Qilu One point reporter Li Jing Have you ever seen a six-meter-high “tiger”?When you walk into Nijiazhuang, Jiangzhuang Town, Gaomi City, the hometown of clay sculptures in China, you will see a six-meter-high clay tiger, majestic and charmingly naive.”Child child you don’t cry, your father went to dengzhou capital, hua la stick, mud tiger, goo ga goo ga twenty-five cents.”The folk song about the mud tiger of Nijiazhuang has been spread for many years.Nijiazhuang mud tiger has a wide mouth, with two small holes at the corners of the mouth, round eyes and full of vitality. There is a whistle in the stomach, which pushes and pulls the head and tail, and can make the sound of “woo, woo”, so it is also called “mud tiger”.The clay tiger, which can call, is the most distinctive clay sculpture in Nijiazhuang. It is the most characteristic folk art of Gaomi and has also become a national intangible cultural heritage.Gaomi, Shandong is famous as “the hometown of Chinese folk art”, and “The hometown of Mo Yan, three sages and Four Treasures” is its famous cultural brand.The year of the Tiger will come, as one of the “four treasures of high density” nijiazhuang “mud tiger” products booming.Small lumps of mud turned into “lumps of gold”, which led people to start their own businesses and become the strength and confidence of the development of Gaomi Nijiazhuang, “like a tiger adding wings” on the road of rural revitalization.Best-selling mud tiger mud bumps into gold bumps in the year of the tiger head on, from the South China Sea came to Nijiazhuang to buy mud tiger people in an endless stream.While packing mud tigers of different sizes and patterns, Nie Peng introduces his craft to customers.”In the past, most of the buyers came from shandong Peninsula. In recent years, with mud tiger becoming more and more famous, more and more people from all over the country and even abroad have bought mud tiger.Since it is the Year of the Tiger, sales are up almost 40 percent compared to the same period last year.”Nie Peng’s face was beaming with joy.Nie Peng, 32 years old, has been dealing with mud tigers for 12 years, which he calls the year of his birth.Nie Peng is the 22nd and youngest inheritor of Nie Jiazhuang clay sculptures.In Nie Peng’s childhood impression, almost every household in Nijiazhuang could make clay sculptures, and the clay tiger naturally became the toy that accompanied him for the longest time in his childhood.”The image of a mud tiger implies a blessing for peace, so every Spring Festival, the elders of the family buy a pair of mud tigers for their children, both as decoration and as a toy, just to taste good,” said Nie peng.Nie peng’s grandfather and father both made mud tigers, mainly to support the family.Nie Peng’s father, Nie Chenxi, 57, started learning how to make mud tigers at the age of seven.In his eyes, “mud” has long been unable to play new tricks.Therefore, in 2010, the year of the Tiger, Nie Peng plunged into the mud tiger. At that time, both his father and the villagers thought that “this young man has no future in cooking with handicraft”.However, Nie Peng still showed his determination, “a little bit of the feeling that the calf is not afraid of the tiger”.His father could not persuade him, so he taught him by hand.”He insisted on learning, so I taught him severely. I didn’t think he meant it.”Nie Chenxi said.Nie Peng did not learn art, clay sculpture almost from zero foundation, he also really tasted the inside of the difficult.”I sit for at least eight hours a day,” nie said. “Every day I have to deal with mud again and again.The mud dries slowly in winter. A mud 20 cm high will not dry through for a week.If you hold cold mud in your hand, it will freeze you.”But now, Nie Peng holds the brush on the clay sculpture freely.In the beginning, nie Peng sold only 1,000 mud tigers a year, but in recent years, 30,000 mud tigers have been sold.His father Nie Chenxi became the provincial non-hereditary inheritor, while Nie Peng also became the municipal non-hereditary inheritor.They sigh: “the spring of the craftsman has come”.Behind the popularity of Nijiazhuang mud tiger is the inheritance of the old craft from generation to generation.It is not a simple task to shape this small lump of mud into a mud tiger.”Making traditional crafts requires patience and dexterity,” Says Nie peng.The so-called “three points of plastic, seven points of color”, from soil, and mud, billet, repair, sentry, bonding, powder, color, dry, after a dozen processes, a lively mud tiger can be formed.”A seemingly simple mud tiger is actually covered with countless handprints of craftsmen.”Compared with the clay tigers in other places, the clay tigers in Nijiazhuang can be watched and played with, but their biggest feature is that they can “bark”.There are many ways to make a whistle.”It’s usually a round reed pole with a knife that cuts a slope at the end. The higher the slope, the clearer the sound.Different sizes of mud tigers require different whistles of different lengths and thickness. Bigger mud tigers have longer and thicker whistles.”Nijiazhuang mud tiger has four characteristics: sound, shape, color and movement.Nie Peng said, “Sound means that mud tigers can make noises by pushing and pulling.Shape, that is, the shape of your tiger is very realistic;Color is the use of peach, light yellow, vermilion, dark green, black mud tiger five primary colors, bright red and green is very gorgeous, has become a regional cultural characteristics;Moving, by using leather bonding, can be pulled back and forth.”There are more than a dozen sizes of mud tigers on Nie peng’s workbench, the smallest of which is 6 centimeters tall.In addition, there are 10 cm high, 20 cm high, 30 cm high mud tigers of a dozen sizes.Mud tigers have different colors and patterns on their bodies, such as paper-cuts, New Year pictures, idioms, custom copywriting and so on.In 2016, Nie decided to try the challenge of making a higher mud tiger.From spring to summer, Nie and his son spent more than five months making the 2.3-meter-high mud tiger.There was no template for such a tall mud tiger, which had to be pinched by hand in small pieces.Plus, that amount of work can’t be done in a day, so staying hydrated can be a challenge.”It takes a lot of research to make a whistle. It takes a lot of manpower to make the whistle stick together.”People were amazed when the 2.3m mud tiger was presented to them.Nejiazhuang clay sculptures originated during the Wanli Period of the Ming Dynasty with a history of more than 400 years.Thanks to the natural advantages of baimai Lake silting, the local soil is of good quality and large viscosity, which will not break after being dry.It has the reputation of “Nie Jiazhuang, facing south, every family knead clay figurines”.To this day, the villagers of Nijiazhuang still use clay from the fields to make mud tigers and clay sculptures.At first, The Nie Jiazhuang clay sculpture was originally a clay coat for fireworks.During the Qing Dynasty, Nie Jiazhuang began to make clay dolls, clay lions, and clay monkeys. There were more clay figures and more people making clay figures.Clay sculpture gradually became a representative of The Village.Enter 2000 year, nie Jiazhuang mud tiger produced qualitative leap again.”At that time, the joint in the middle of the mud tiger changed from kraft paper to leather, and the mold changed from firing to using plaster molds,” Nie said.The name of the mud tiger in Nijiazhuang is getting louder and louder.”In 2008, Nijiazhuang clay sculptures were included in the first batch of national intangible cultural Heritage expansion projects.”We gradually have a new understanding of the intangible cultural heritage, and it is a matter of pride that the Mud tiger of Gaomi Village has become an intangible cultural heritage.”Nie Peng said.”It’s hard to go far in the future if you just hold on to this piece of mud.As an intangible cultural heritage, how should gaomi Nijiazhuang mud tiger break through?”The first thing Nie peng did was to give the mud tiger its own packaging.”In the past, people bought mud tigers with a plastic bag. I think mud tigers should be innovated from the inside out.”Therefore, Nie Peng began to design packaging, mud tiger this intangible cultural heritage product to change a new look.In addition to the packaging, Nie peng also made some exaggerated designs for the image of mud tiger, adding elements such as cartoons, gaomi paper cutting and ash New Year paintings.”Although innovative, what remains unchanged is the most traditional face of the mud tiger. Everyone can see it as the Mud tiger of Nie Jiazhuang.”Now, mud tiger also has the name of auspicious tiger, with the implication of “auspicious tiger cries, happiness comes”.In order to let the mud tiger into ordinary People’s Daily life, Nie Peng is also constantly producing down-to-earth mud tiger derivatives.He also went to more than 20 countries and regions for cultural exchanges.”At first, I just wanted to learn traditional skills from my father. Once I learned the skills, I wanted to learn how to sell, and then I wanted to learn how to innovate, how to reach more people, how to attract young people to join us.”The mud tiger is no longer just a childhood toy for Nie Peng, but a cultural symbol and a responsibility on his shoulders.Now, only about 20 households in Nijiazhuang are still making clay products.”In the past, my grandfather and father would make clay sculptures and sell them in the nearby market, especially around the Spring Festival.However, a mud tiger, before the year of the tiger, sales and benefits are limited.In addition, intangible cultural heritage projects have great challenges, young people do less, it is difficult to pass on the skills.”NiePengShui.In order to better protect and develop clay figurines, More than 120 clay figurines craftsmen in Nijiazhuang West Village and surrounding villages have been recruited to form a joint association to unify standards and share sales channels.At present, the association can process nearly 10,000 mud tigers every month, and the products are sold all over the country.In 2021, sales of Intangible cultural heritage crafts in Jiangzhuang town will reach 50 million yuan.Now, in addition to door-to-door wholesale and custom customers, Nie Peng also through cultural exchange expo promotion.”We are also exploring e-commerce, short video and other sales channels.Mud tigers have not only increased sales, but also ‘flown’ abroad.””The market gradually widened, I really hope the village people can pick up this old craft, common development.Let the little mud tiger play a role on the road to rural revitalization.”NiePengShui.Mud tiger has become the “face” and “lining” of Gaomi Nijiazhuang, and has a resound-sounding name.”With this year of the Tiger, I hope traditional crafts will have a new turn.In the next year of the Tiger, I hope to make small mud into a long-term project.””Gu-ga gu-ga.”Nie Peng played with mud tigers.”The year of the Tiger is coming. I wish you all good luck in the year of the Tiger.