Baisha Naxi Embroidery Institute and School in Lijiang
The local embroidery workshop at Jiu’an, near the city of Lijiang, is mainly staffed by migrant women who moved to the village after a dam construction project meant they had to leave their original hometowns in Yulong County.
The women, coming from many of the nation’s ethnic minorities, including the Lisu, Naxi, Pumi and Bai people, learned their basic skills from experts in the local Baisha Naxi Embroidery Institute.
They sell handicrafts through the institute’s marketing channel, whereby each product is marked and categorized by a serial number.
“We urge them to make amendments if there are any defects, in case it would affect the embroidery’s final price,” explained an expert.
Initiative of Grassroots Women’s Federation
Since 2015, the grassroots women’s federation in Yulong has been supporting the institute to organize relevant training sessions. So far, this initiative fostered over 200 craftspeople and further benefited the local women’s poverty-alleviation scheme.
Introduction to the Baisha Naxi Embroidery Institute
This institute received the honorable title of Women’s Handicrafts, Startups, and Employment Model Base from Yunnan Women’s Federation recently.
The federation at the county-level of Yulong also awarded the institute the title of Women’s Innovation Exemplary Base.
“The institute has involved over 200 people, including embroidery experts, teachers, students, and artists,” said the school’s president, Chen Zhi.
“In terms of its educational themes, one is to pass on traditional ethnicities’ embroidery skills, while the other is to foster local women to promote this artistic industry.”
Chen also showed one of the institute’s most highly-regarded products – a work combining different aspects of local Dongba culture from the Naxi ethnicity.
“This work, titled Shenlutu, was created by Yang Jinfeng, a provincial-level embroidery master.
“Yang, 32, spent eight years completing this 60-meter-long artwork, which would later compete for the World Guinness Record of biggest horizontal scale artwork ever and the longest time-spent on a single piece of embroidery,” Chen added.
Chen Zhi teaches women how to improve their embroidery skills. [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]
Women work on handicrafts in a local workshop. [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]