To mark the 9th Annual National Cultural Heritage Day, Hainan will host a weeklong Li brocade cultural heritage protection exhibition starting from June 14th, including the 5th Annual Li Brocade Weaving Competition.

Acclaimed as a "living fossil" of Chinese textiles, the Li-style brocade was chosen in the first batch of items for the Intangible Cultural Heritage list released by UNESCO in 2009.

The Li brocade has been part of China’s national cultural heritage, but as few people nowadays have the skills necessary to weave the special brocades, the practice is in danger of becoming extinct.

In order to save this centuries-old craft and at the same time increase the income of local farmers, Hainan Province has been offering villagers free weaving courses and living subsidies and has been also setting up museums to highlight the craft since 2004.

The number of masters of the traditional textile techniques of the Li ethnic group has since risen to more than 10,000, compared with only about 1,000 in 2009.

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