Monday, December 1, 2008

Sword and Sabre Industry

When I stepped into Lijiang Ancient Town, I came across a very unusual industry.

Apparently there are two shops in this old town that display a wide range of designs of swords and sabres for sale. Their designs were simply beautiful and the metalwork all handcrafted.

For a moment I was wondering where the market for this product may come from. Soon I learned that it is common practice for Tibetans to wear a short sword or sabre by their side as part of their normal outfit.

I scrutinized their products and could not help but marvel at the quality of their artwork. They were all made by hand. Apparently the two shops that sell swords and sabres are both family businesses that have thriving for many generations. It is also part of their spirit to preserve a vanishing skill and hang on to a sunset industry.

I did not purchase any of them because I knew I will not be able to get the "weapons" past the customs when I return home!

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