Paper Making in Ta Cheng

In the mountain town of Ta Cheng, Yan JianHua makes paper for the local Dongbas (Shamans in the Naxi tradition) as well as the Dongba Research Center in Lijiang City. Dongbas use the paper in books that record the stories of their belief. 

Yan JianHua, a Dongba himself, uses bark from a particular type of tree in his region and soaks it for up to 6 months until it is ready to be put through a machine several times and made into pulp. After the pulverizing process, the pulp is squeezed and formed with the hands into a ball the size of a tennis ball. The ball is then put into a tube like cylinder and loosened with a stick that has a flat end. The wet pulp is then dumped into a rectangular box which has a screen on top. After the pulp is swished around and evenly distributed the screen is taken to a wooden board and pressed down upon to squeeze all the excess water out. The board is laid out in the sun to dry and wallah we have paper!