Blacksmithing of Hien Luong Village

Hien Luong is a village of Phong Hien commune in Phong Dien district. Nestling on the northern side of downstream Bo River, it is an ancient village founded in the middle of the fifteenth century, under the later Le dynasty.

The village was renowned for its steel and iron farming tools such as ploughs, hoes, slashers, knives, sickles, scythes, etc. Under the reigns of Nguyen Lords to Tay Son and Nguyen dynasties, Hien Luong was the major base to fabricate weapons and utensils for the army and mandarins.

Originally, the village took the name Hoa Lang. But since this was the cradle to provide talented and righteous mandarins for the Court, King Minh Mang renamed it as Hien. In the old days, strong men in the village were recruited to work in Da Tuong department (a state unit of blacksmiths). Some excellent people in this department such as Hoang Van Gia, Hoang Van Can, Hoang Van Lich, Tran Van Dac emerged to become foremen of the workshops, weapon store managers, or dignitaries of the Public Ministry. Particularly, Mr. Hoang Van Lich is the one who made Hien Luong village’s blacksmithing so well-known over the nation. In 1840, Hoang Van Lich together with other royal engineers successfully created 3 first-ever steamships of Vietnam. After this event, he was conferred the title of Luong Son Marquis and considered as the patron of Vietnam’s mechanics.

The practice of blacksmithing has unfortunately been shrinking over the time, but the villagers have tried every effort to preserve their traditional craft by making it a tourist product. Since the early of 2010, the village has been open to visitors and the live experience of this craft village apparently allures tourists and travel agencies as well.

In Hue city itself, blacksmiths from the village also gather to form a blacksmithing village in Bao Vinh. No matter where the blacksmiths from Hien Luong are living now, they always return to their home village to commemorate the founder of blacksmithing and ancestors of the village on the 18th of the second Lunar month as a tradition.

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