Incense profession in Phu Loc

Thôn Phú Lộc, Xã Đại An, Huyện Đại Lộc, Tỉnh Quảng Nam, Việt Nam Xã Đại An, Huyện Đại Lộc, Tỉnh Quảng Nam


Incense profession in Phu Loc (Dai An) now has more than 200 years. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, a blast from the province's residents from Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh moved Phu Loc to settle. Initially, it was truly wild: forests by forest, most of them are forest of Litsea glutinosa ("Boi loi" tree in native speaking). This is one of the reasons for the formation of incense handicraft in this region. However, the craft of making incense was initially just a sideline after harvest time.

Huong Phu Loc has specific distinct characteristics as compared to other localities of the incense: it owns the aroma of cinnamon from specialties that make up the pleasant feeling. "Good thing has wings", Phu Loc incense is well-known in the whole and attracts growing trade visitors. Gradually, the source of income from the craft of making incense become the main production sector of the people in the village. This handicraft is maintained and developed by generations after generations. The families of Mr Do Thai and Mrs. Nguy Thi Hoanh have been doing this job for 4 to 5 generations.

Arduous career as incense. Boi Loi is the main material of incense but this material is becoming rare locally, so every day from morning to evening, the handymen had to travel to these areas, especially areas along Son Ga mountain in Dai Nghia, Dai Quang to look for Boi Loi leaves.  Then, go to Que Phuoc, Que Lam and Trung Phuoc communes (Nong Son District today) to peel and powder cinnamon skin. To make incense, the whole family, turn by turn, has to mill it into powder and dry all ingredients, Boi Loi leaves and cinnamon skin.

Making incense stick is also very exhausting. For the incense to catch fire easier, they have to use the young bamboo, or bamboo top cut, each piece about 25 cm long 75 cm. After having the material, the whole family gathered around the table and do further steps. Milled Boi Loi powder is hydrated, wrapped around the stick and then covered with cinnamon powder. 100 sticks of incense make up a package. Phu Loc village specializes in producing two types of incense: Huong Truong (long incense) and Huong The (strip incense) which are 1m and 35cm respectively. Originally, products from Phu Loc village have no brand or nylon packaging like today.

Along with providing the trade visitors from the destination, the old families in Phu Loc around the localities in the province, sometimes out to the capital of Hue to sell. With various sizes and concentrations of aromatic cinnamon flavor created for the famous Phu Loc, sonorous.

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