Bat Trang Pottery Village


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Information Bat Trang Pottery Village

The production of pottery is one of Vietnam’s long-standing traditional sectors. It results from working and manufacturing process of people. Pottery products are the combination of the five basic elements and the feeling og artisans since their birth, pottery products have become familiar things in our daily life. Besides, they are also seen as a particular sector through which artisans show their conception of the plastic arts delicately.



With such above characteristics, Vietnamese pottery has expressed not only its simpliticity but splendor, the splendor of land’s soul and people’s emotion. This attracts a lot of domestic and foreign collectors, rescarcher from the past to date.
Saying about Vietnamese pottery, we can’t help remembering Bat Trang one because Bat Trang is one of centers of producing pottery which appeared first since the independence of the country.

Situated on the left bank of the Red River, about 10km away from the center of Hanoi is the pottery village of Bát Tràng, belonging to Gia Lâm district (a suburb of Hanoi City).

Bát Tràng village, the most ancient and famous pottery village of Vietnam, continues to work today and is constantly developing. It is said that, the village took its first name from Bạch Thổ guild (a guild of Kaolin potters) and then it became Bát Tràng guild (a guild of bowls and kilns).

According to the legend, pottery production began in Bát Tràng in the Lý Dynasty. Previous to this the villagers remember that their native village was in Bồ Bát (or Bạch Bát), in Yên Mỗ district, Ninh Bình province. What happened was that some people from Bồ Bát village took a boat trip on the Red River to trade. When they arrived at the nearby capital of Thăng Long, they found some waste but fertile land and stayed there for a night. That night, one of them had a dream of being invited by Neptune to visit the water palace. Understanding the poor circumstances of the man, Neptune sent some workers to build him a splendid house of clay. Long afterwards, also in his dream, his children used to eat the clay, but the wall never collapsed. This man told his dream to the group, who considering it to be a good omen, decided to settle on this land and establish a new village.

Although this legend is not convincing evidence for the date of establishment of Bát Tràng village, some archeological data shows that many of the Lý Dynasty’s relics are decorated with blue enamel pottery. A more reliable document is the "Dư Địa Chí" of Nguyễn Trãi, a great politician, strategist, diplomat and poet, compiled in early Lê Dynasty, which stated that in each tribute to the Chinese Dynasty, Bát Tràng had to provide 70 sets of dishes and bowls, which indicates that by that time, the Bát Tràng pottery was quite sophisticated. Nowadays many temples and pagodas still preserve lamps and incense burners, with dragons and phoenix, clouds and flowers decorated in blue, with the name, address and date of production in Bát Tràng in the 16th century. There are also other foreign documents giving information about Bát Tràng pottery in the 16th to 17th centuries, for example Ancient Asian Pottery by Pujio Koiama.

Anyway all information considered, we can estimate that Bát Tràng village existed, as a suburb of Thăng Long capital, as a handicraft village some 500 years ago.

Source: yeudulich.org

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