San Diu Dragon Print from Antique Wood-Block SWB02


This print was recently made using an antique wood printing block that belonged to a Shaman of the San Diu minority people in Tuyen Quang province. It is a traditional printing block with images carved in relief on both sides as represented here. The image includes the Shaman’s name, dragons, and other spiritual designs. The dragon represents the King, Lord of the Water, the Yang (male principle in balance with the female Yin) and power in general.

Out of stock

The use of woodblock to form prints on rice paper in Vietnam dates back over 1000 years. Almost none of the early prints have survived since they are burned as an offering by the shaman during ceremonial rites conducted for a variety of purposes. Commonly, the prints referred to as ‘ghost money’ are burned as an offering to the ancestors and deities. In Vietnam, a mixture of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism influences tradition.

The shamans in the north of Vietnam craft their ceremonial instruments with dragon designs to infuse them with power. San Diu shamans use these wood blocks for printing on the envelopes that contain the shaman’s certificates as an act of protecting them. The ink was prepared from ash and water in the past but now Japanese or Chinese ink is used for the longer lasting and clearer impressions. The print has been professionally framed. Some reflection off the glass was unavoidable when photographing this print.

With this item you will receive detailed notes on the San Diu minority people of Vietnam and their shamanic traditions and the symbolism of your particular wood block print.

Frame: 46cm x 34cm, 18in x 13.5in
Image: 29cm x 17cm, 11.5in x 6.7in

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