The tiles of the famous Chinese game of Mahjong are made with intricate details and the process is simply therapeutic.
Each tradition is symbolic and beautiful in its own way. However, when combined with art, it creates something productive, authentic and impressive. My Modern Met shared the intriguing tradition of Mahjong tiles skilfully made by Chinese artisans. The tiles are used for the game of Mahjong, invented in the 19th century in China and renowned across the globe. A viral clip posted on Reddit by u/bluedogmilano shows the making of Mahjong tiles, the process of which is simply breathtaking. The video was originally posted by a TikTok page dedicated to creative manufacturing clips. The tiles, known for their intricate details and artistic finish, are made from a brilliant method.
The video begins with a man cleaning and sawing cattle bones, which will be used to make the Mahjong tiles. Contrary to the finished look of the tiles, the bones are raw materials that will be dazzled up to form the round-edged tiles. The man in the video further cleans and boils the bones to remove unwanted materials. The bones are then washed in a solution and cleaned thoroughly. The effort put in manually explains the weight the game holds. After a good washing and drying, the bones are chopped and sliced with detailed tools to achieve thin and small-sized pieces.
These tiny pieces are then laid out in the open to dry for quite some time, after which it is shaped and filed to give them a smooth, flat texture and shape. The workers make the pieces as detailed as possible, working specifically on each to create the game of 144 tiles. After smoothening and fine detailing, a tint is applied to the tiles to mark the beginning of the detailing on each tile. It is followed by the ink, which is prepared to engrave the details on the tiles. With a fine brush, almost like calligraphy, an artisan writes on each tile.
Lastly, details are engraved on each tile for a solid finishing touch. Adding color and fine-tuning to each tile, the artisans then carefully place the tiles in a set. The long, hard-working process is way more hectic than it looks, but every craftsman takes the trouble to put in effort and create the perfect Mahjong tile. The time-consuming process in the video is more of an art than just a process. It is a keen interest artisans take up, which is evident through its intricate process. The video has gone viral on several platforms and people can't help but praise the skilled hands behind a beautiful and creatively traditional skill.
The video posted on Reddit received over 35k upvotes. u/No_Contribution_3465 said, "That's a lot of effort, but the result delivered: neat." u/justsomeguy05 said, "Such beautiful craftsmanship, I'd love to own a set like that, but there is no way in hell I'd use it enough/at all to be worth it." u/jetjirohai said, "I feel like I wouldn't even want to use it. If I bought it, I'd probably frame it and hang it on the wall or something. Just knowing the effort that went into making it, I'd far more appreciate looking at it than using it."