Paper-cutting preserves culture

Updated: 2014-11-12 10:12

By Clare Buchanan(China Daily)

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Paper-cutting preserves culture

Ni Youzhi, a 76-year-old paper-cutting craftswoman, shows her artwork. [Photo by Zhang Wei/China Daily]

An elderly craftswoman has dedicated herself to preserving Manchu culture through paper-cutting.

Ni Youzhi learnt the craft from her mother when she was six years old and is now a national-level successor of Manchu paper-cutting.

The 76-year-old spends her time creating the cuttings, which depict scenes of traditional Manchu stories, on paper, bark and leaves.

"When I can't sleep at night I memorize what my mother told me about the group's history. I can't draw or read books but I can remember what she told me as a girl - all the Manchu tales. I can cut so I transform my memories," she said.

 Ni passes on her skills to younger generations and helped students at Tonghua Normal University.

"I am so happy to see young people practicing the skill. We have some successors. It makes me feel very good to see this and they will soon become better than me," she said.