Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum-Shui People’s Paper Cutting

Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum

Shui People’s Paper Cutting

by Live in Guizhou


Image Source: Eyesnews

Shui people’s paper cutting, listed in the national-level intangible cultural heritage representative extension project directory in 2014, is widely popular in Shui ethnic folk areas. Its style is simple and imbued with a strong sense of daily life. The themes of the paper cutting are diverse, including astronomy, landscapes, birds, beasts, flowers, and more, often reflecting the lifestyles of the Shui people and rich in symbolism.

Shui people’s paper cutting originated from the decorative needs of the Shui people’s early clothing and has been passed down and developed over time. Although there are no written records or archaeological artifacts to precisely date its emergence, narratives about paper cutting in ancient Shui songs and carvings on Shui stone slab graves, combined with its basic functions in folk rituals and clothing decoration, indicate its long history.

Shui people’s paper cutting primarily draws inspiration from nature and daily life. Originating from the needs of clothing and daily living utensils, its patterns are mostly based on plants, birds, animals, insects, and human figures, with flowers, birds, and grasses being the main subjects. The artists use scissors exclusively, without the tradition of using carving knives. In their cutting techniques, the Shui people excel in various methods such as single cutting, mixed cutting, and symmetrical cutting.