Horn carving

Country: China

Horn carving is craft engraved and created with animal horn in ethnic minority areas. Horn carving is mainly made up of ox horn and yak horn. It is most frequently seen in Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Guangxi, and Sichuan Aba Prefecture.

Its basic manufacturing processes roughly include material selection, rough shape cutting, modeling, polishing, and engraving. In Yunnan and Inner Mongolia, ox horn sometimes is required to go through heat treatment and then is used for engraving.

Horn carvings focus on various themes including animal, plant and human. They are often integrated with local minority culture and are full of ethnic characteristics.

There are few artists engaged in horn carving and relevant skills and technologies are inherited from master to apprentice or in a family. No national master now has been acknowledged in this field. Though it is difficult for survival of ox horn carvings in Hepu, Guangxi and Hainan, the horn carving technique in other places has been developing soundly.