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  • Dragon Boat Production

    Zhongtang has been the home to dragon boat production for more than a century and is now the only town in Dongguan with Dragon Boat workshops. The steps to Dragon Boat production are as follow:

     

    - choosing the foundational dragon spine (keel, mainly large cedar)
    - nailing the bottom
    - bending the keel and making it streamlined
    - balancing (finding the middle position, and balancing the bottom)
    - installation of the retaining plate
    - installing both sides of the boat-cross-blocks (ribs)
    - installing the seats (installing the intestines)
    - reinforcement of the intestines (with bamboo strips)
    - oiling (leak-proofing the gaps)
    - varnishing (making the boat smooth)
    - installing the dragonhead – installing the rudder.

     

    The century-long history of boat making can be divided into the handcrafting period and te machine production period. In the former, all stages of the production were done by hand..In 1980s, the heavier work was done by machines. In the past, materials of building the dragon boat were all chosen by experience and memory,partly to keep the technique asecret. In 1990s, newer workshops (such as the dragon boat factory in Dongxiang) have introduced computers into the process of production. Currently, the handcrafting technique has been inherited by various Zhongtang people, such as Huo Zhuoxing, and the production has been listed in the second group of national non-material heritage.