Birch bark products and birch bark pictures are unified to be called “birch bark culture”, which is an ancient and unique culture of northern hemisphere. It has a long history and is an important creation by the ancient minor nationalities in northern China such as Xianbei, Khitan, and Jurchen. Till now, minor nationalities such as Oroqen, Evenki, Hezhen, and Daur living in the north east of China still preserve the tradition of birch bark culture in different degrees, especially for Oroqen nationality. Birch bark culture is not only important in plastic art history of China but also plays an important role in the world cultural history. It reflects the infinite love of Oroqen people to the beautiful landscape of Wudalianchi. Due to close connection of Oroqen people to the birch bark culture, birch bark products become another feature of Oroqen nationality.
In the past, production and living appliances of Oroqen people were mostly made of birch bark, such as bowls, buckets, suitcases, hat boxes and baskets, even boats for fishing. These products are not joined together by thread but skillfully meshed, and sculptured with all kinds of patterns on the surface, which are beautiful and solid. The strong plasticity of natural tree knot and moss are combined to make a complete handmade procedure of cut, mosaic, embossing, collage, sculpture, painting, iron and compile. These birch bark products are not easily deformed or crack and are light, durable and have good moisture proof performance. One piece of birch bark products usually lasts for over ten years, and it gradually changes into cinnamon color when gets older. When the simplicity color is coupled with a unique pattern and decorated by some precious material, the birch bark product becomes a rare works of art.
Birch bark craft has created a splendid, distinctive ethnic minority culture system, showing Oroqen people’s passion to life and strong quest for beauty; meanwhile, it also reflects their artistic quality and aesthetic ability. For the form of birch bark craft decorative arts, aesthetic sense and artistic skills of the minor nationality is not only an arcadia out of office and home life, but is also a unique flower within the garden of decoration art.