Many handmade products are giving way to mass produced counterparts that are less expensive. Despite the trend, one elderly man in southern Taiwan still continues a craft that he’s been doing for over 60 years –making feather dusters by hand.
Mr. Chen Chong-lu is in his seventies. Despite his age, he still makes feather dusters by hand with his wife every day in their front yard in Puyan Township, southern Taiwan. To make a quality product, Chen must spend more than an hour to tie pheasant feathers evenly around a bamboo stick. The process is a tricky one, as it requires the coordinated movements of fingers and toes.
Chen said he inherited the craft from his father, who collected feathers from the pheasants that were killed before feasts. Chen has been making the dusters for over 60 years and takes great pride in his craft – he tries to use only the best feathers plucked from the tails and necks of roosters.
Feather dusters were once common in many Taiwan households, but they aren’t that popular anymore. But Chen still believes there will be a market for the unique dusters and has trained others to continue the legacy of his craft.