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H’mong ethnic people preserve traditional costumes

TQO - From pieces of plain white linen, H’mong ethnic women in KhuoiCungHamlet, Xuan Lap Commune, Lam BinhDistrict, have created unique patterns on their costumes and have preserved this treasured practice.

GiangSeo Cha, a local H’mong man, said that a H’mong man will only marry a woman who knows how to draw beeswax on linen.

Drawing tools include a small iron pan, a drawing brush with a bronze nib, a piece of linen, indigo, and beeswax. Beeswax must be heated to draw onto linen, so the pan of beeswax must be put over a fire.

This is a sophisticated work requiring a lot of skilfulness and creativity from H’mong men and women. The space on the linen which is not covered by beeswax will be dyed black. Meanwhile, when beeswax is melted, the areas which were covered with beeswax will turn into an indigo blue colour, creating a highlight for the costumes.

It takes a lot of effort from H’mong people to complete an outfit decorated with beeswax patterns. Not all H’mong people succeed in the job at the beginning, but they must remain patient to learn how to do it.

Through the skilful hands of H’mong women, the love for nature is reflected through the images of mountains, flowers, and animals. Their simple wishes are also illustrated on the textile through many sophisticated patterns.

Being aware of the uniqueness of the practice, the authorities of Lam Binh District and Xuan Lap Commune have exerted efforts to preserve and promote it. The district’s authorities have planned to integrate this indigenous cultural practice of H’mong people in the development of local tourism.

H’mong women in KhuoiCung Hamlet drawing patterns on linen.

Tuong Vi

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