Li She Village in Yan Si Town is known for gourd engraving. There are several artists who still practice this art in line with local traditions. This folk art has a long history throughout China and its methods have changed very little over the years. Carved gourds were originally created as ornate cricket cages, but their function now is more symbolic.
This quiet village produces hundreds of gourds a year, many of which are now sold to tourists in the cities. However, certain traditional beliefs about the gourds are still held firmly by many of the local people. Most commonly, the villagers will select images from the Peking Opera to be carved on their gourds, since those are thought to bring good luck and longevity. Learn about the history of keeping crickets, or visit the Gourd Engraver’s Workshop to find out more about this fascinating folk tradition.