Breath of fresh air for a 'living fossil'

Updated: 2015-09-07 09:19

By Bi Nan(

Breath of fresh air for a 'living fossil'

Women and children peel mulberry bark in a village in Moyu county, Hotan prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo by Qin Fengjing/provided to]

What is mulberry paper?

Mulberry paper making is a traditional handicraft of the Uyghur people in China's Xinjiang. It is handmade and today only a few families still produce it.

The finished product is graded as high, medium, or low, according to quality. In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD), books and brochures were mainly printed with high-quality paper in Xinjiang. It was also used to print money during the period of the Republic of China (1912-1949 AD). Medium grade paper was mainly used for packing tea and herbal medicine, while low quality, rough paper was used as a subsidiary material to make shoes or clothes.

Today it is more often used for writing and painting, which can last for more than 1,000 years, according to Tursunbaher Tohtibahi, the 11th inheritor of the handicraft.

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