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In northeast China, gourds ¨C hollowed out fruit shells ¨C are believed to be able to drive away evil spirits. And they come in different shapes and sizes. But before I visited Ya Zhen Mi Bao Ge , I have never seen gourds made from walnut shells.
The shop had dozens of gourds in different sizes. The big ones are as tall as a person, while the small ones are about 8 inches. The owner of the shop explained to me the unique technique of making these gourds. First the walnuts need to be cut open, and the kernels inside taken out. Then use a special glue to stick the shells together. Mid-sized gourds cost about RMB 120. The big ones can be costly, as they take a whole week to make.
Beside the gourds are tree-root carvings. I was particular impressed with a huge tea table. It was carved out of the root of a thousand year-old tree in Burma. The price of this tea table is about RMB 20,000.
The shop also features many other items. There are nice hand-made tobacco pipes and beautiful jade and emerald jewelry.
What I appreciate:
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