Lu Ban, a carpenter consecrated by artisans of all crafts

Lu Ban, also as known as Gongshu Ban, was a renowned carpenter of the Lu State during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period. The social changes made artisans gain some freedom and the wide use of ironware provided favorable conditions for the development of handicraft technology. In the respect of tool innovation and workmanship, Lu Ban found his own way to distinction ancient books recorded his deeds in tool innovation and fabrication of various kinds of utensils for daily use, such as the yinkuo (an appliance used for straightening out lumber) and shovel. Lu Ban was originally a carpenter but it had already been said in the ancient times of China that he was also engaged in other workmanships, such as coppersmith, stonemason, etc. According to the legend circulated in the Han Dynasty, Lu Ban was said to carve and paint the crossbeams of the palace in Luoyang and build a bridge in the vicinity of Chang’an. Afterwards, this kind of legend increased day by day at various places and people took not too much notice whether there legends were in conformity with Gongshu Ban’s history during the Warring States Period but instead they took Lu Ban as an ideal character of skilled artisan. For uplifting the notability of their respective trade, many trades such as carpenter, bricklayer, stonemason, shipbuilder, vehicle fabricator, etc. all consecrated Lu Ban as the founder of their respective trade. As a result, the phenomenon “artisans of all crafts consecrate Lu Ban” occurred.

 

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