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Man applies inlay designs to a wood plaque at handicraft workshop in Hoi An

Inlayed wooden plaques display Chinese characters and traditional scenes. (Photograph by Margery H. Freeman. More about the photograph)

Ethnic Chinese populations are found in all urban and trade centers of Vietnam, but they are particularly large in Hoi An. Thus the frequent use of Chinese characters in art and on public buildings.

The plaque this artisan is making depicts an outdoor mountain scene with a horse and rider, bordered by geometric and floral designs. Another plaque features large Chinese-style characters, undoubtedly invoking good fortune for the owner. The employees at this workshop are all disabled, but capable of making the precision crafts sold by the shop.