Vietnamese woodworkers build a complete home, from fragments of the past

Thanh Nien News

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A group of veteran carpenters in central Vietnam have spent eight months collecting materials and items from three ancient houses and then assembled them into an ultimate work of traditional Vietnamese architecture. 
Now the wooden house, completely hand-built in the style of ancient ruong houses, is open to the public in Quang Ngai Province.
Many antiques are also on display here. 

“Ruong” is a wooden house with carvings on pillars and rafters. Dozens of artisans collected materials from three ruong houses of between 120 and 300 years old in the province to put together the complete ruong house, which has been open to tourists for a week.

The house’s three main areas are linked with a corridor of 40 meters long. Each is decorated with horizontal and vertical lacquered boards which are carefully engraved with floral images and those of the four holy animals -- dragon, qilin, turtle and phoenix.

Among the antiques on display is a gilded box containing a royal ordainment from the 19th century. Most of others are potteries dating back to the 12th century that local collectors contributed.

Ceramic bowls from the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century.

At the center are bronze axe blades from the Dong Son culture that lasted between 1,000 BC to 100.

Plates of Chu Dau pottery, a famous Vietnamese pottery style developed in the north between the 13th and 18th centuries.

Antique expert Lam Du Xenh (L) introduces some Champa religious notes from the 15th-16th centuries to a visitor. Xenh said the writings were made on “buong,” a kind of tough leaves which were dry. They are prayers for peace and good crops.

Jars and pots of around 200 years old from the local pottery village My Thien are decorated with apricot blossoms, a symbol of spring in Vietnam.

Nguyen Dang Vu, director of the Quang Ngai’s culture department, said the house is an early effort of the province to draw community contribution into a grand museum of around 5,000 square meters. “The house is an ideal place for researchers and collectors to exchange and preserve their items.”

Visitors check a photo captured at the house. Vu said locals will restore a stilt house of the Cor ethnic group who lives in the area. 

                                         Photo credit: VnExpress

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