Fengxiang Clay Sculpture 泥塑


Dublin Core


Fengxiang Clay Sculpture 泥塑


Clay, Mud, Sculpture


Clay sculpture has been handed down among the people for about three thousand years. These sculptures are made from the special clay called “Ban Ban Tu,” found only in Fengxiang County, northwest of Xi’an.


Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC)


Mud-colour, Sticky texture (at first)



Crafts Item Type Metadata

Crafting Methods

The clay is well-suited for making sculptures because it is very sticky and doesn’t crack easily after it dries. The figurines are made of this local clay mixed with pulp, then painted after shaping. The craft of making the painted clay-figurines of Fengxiang has a recorded history of more than three hundred years. According to folk-lore, however, the figurines first appeared some six hundred years ago.


Mud, Ceramic

Usage and Application

The subjects of the figurines span a wide range of bold and brief shapes of wild exaggeration and bright colours with a strong local flavour. They are well received by the local people, who put them as toys and symbols of good fortune and happiness. Every time when the lunar New Year draws near, the local handicraftsmen, with the beautifully painted clay-figurines on shoulders or in hand, would converge on the market and set up stalls in meandering lines. This makes the country fair during the festival more flourishing and exciting. Infused with simple and sincere feelings of the laboring people, the painted clay-figurines reflected the superb creative ability in art of the peasants and are typical articles of folk art. They not only attract the attention of artists, but also appeal very much to people of various fields both at home and abroad.



“Fengxiang Clay Sculpture 泥塑,” CCCH9051 Group 64, accessed June 19, 2024, https://learning.hku.hk/ccch9051/group-64/items/show/35.

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