The 38-year-old luthier Guang Hui has been making matouqins, a two-stringed instrument with a scroll carved like a horse’s head, for nearly 12 years and is proficient in the arts of carving, polishing and painting.
In 2006, Mongolian matouqin music was listed as a national-level intangible cultural heritage approved by the State Council.
"Matouqins are a proud Mongolian tradition and I want to promote them to future generations," Guang said.
A matouqin usually involves a variety of wooden materials including red sandalwood, maple wood, and spruce wood. It is a lengthy process to make one, including lineation, cutting, rough carving, elaborate carving, polishing, painting, buffing, waxing and assembling. Nowadays, machines can take care of many parts of the instrument-making process, however, manually-produced matouqins are still of higher quality.
While the machine is excellent, it can’t replace the quality associated with manual work, added Guang.
Guang Hui carves the wood on part of a matouqin at his workshop in Hohhot, Nov 30. [Photo/Xinhua]