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In some parts of China, it seems the traditional art of papermaking by hand has been preserved. Let's take a look.
In China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region, Gongchuan city, some villagers are still making Sha Paper by hand. It's a longstanding tradition that's slowly dying out.
Sha Paper production began during the Tang dynasty and was used widely during the Qing dynasty. Gongchuan village is the biggest producer of Sha paper, and many families take part in making it.
The entire process involves mashing bark and leaves of gum trees, and drying them. It takes about four days. Sheets of paper can be seen left everywhere around their houses to dry. The finished product is usually sold as an additional source of income.
However, as Sha paper is only used to bind paper money stacks or used to wrap foods, the demand for it is low. Most villagers only engage in the craft during slack farming seasons, and those that do so are usually elderly above the age of fifty.
[Qin Weishou, Villager]:
"Young people seldom care to learn and make the paper. If this situation continues, this old handicraft might disappear before too long."
[Wei Youhu, Secretary of Village]:
"Of the villager's 1,100 households, more than 600 were engaged in the trade in the past, but the current number stands only at 300. More and more villagers are dropping out."
Sha Paper used to be exported to Canada in the 1930s, but with time, the increasing price of raw materials and changing demand has made it an art that is only preserved now through villages like Gongchuan.