Discovering the Land of Ba Vi (Part 2)

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Palm-leaf conical Hat making in Ba Vi

Palm-leaf conical Hat making in Ba Vi

Along the Red River dike slope, Ba Vi district, Hanoi city, people will not be impressed when witnessing many children here siting hats. This is one of the difficult stages, requiring the skill of making conical hats.

Phu Chau commune has more than 10,000 inhabitants, and nearly 3,000 people participate in making conical hats regularly. The craft of making conical hats is passed from generation to generation. Therefore, most people in Phu Chau know this job.

The craft of making hats in the commune began to take shape in 1939. When Pham Thi Nhan, a native of Chuong village, Thanh Oai district, married her husband, brought a job from the countryside.

Then passed it on to the neighbors. Then replicated The whole commune and many adjacent communes along the Red River dike in Ba Vi district.

Phu Chau villagers commune dry the leaves - materials for making hats in front of village communal yard
Phu Chau villagers commune dry the leaves – materials for making hats in front of village communal yard

Currently, all three villages including Phuc Xuyen, Phong Chau and Lieu Chau in Phu Chau commune have a career in making hats.

Most of the households in the commune have people making hats, people often take advantage of the evening or at leisure. Particularly in Phuc Xuyen village, there are many households specializing in leaf cones. In particular, more and more children know how to sew hats in addition to learning, time will help parents.

To make a beautiful leaf hat, you have to go through many stages such as leaves, pinching, spinning hats, scooping, and checking. Most of the new apprentices do the survey first, then learn the other stages. It is difficult for people who do not know the profession but it is the easiest part to make hats. The conical stitch stage is considered to be the most difficult because if it is not skillful. It will result in the leaf being torn, the cone will be damaged. So Phu Chau commune, there are many children who know how to sew hats. Looking at the clever little hands of the children. Looking at the chisels. It is not easy to make a beautiful hat.

The stage for leaves into the rim to form a hat
The stage for leaves into the rim to form a hat

Children in the commune know how to make hats from a very young age. Sometimes, at the age of 8 or 9, the hat can help parents earn extra income. On average, each adult can make 2-3 hats a day. Each house has a child who knows how to wear a hat to help adults make one more.

A normal hat costs from 50,000 to 60,000 VND. If the cone is beautiful, the price can be VND 80,000 – 90,000.

Bui Thu Trang, 9 years old in Phu Xuyen village, Phu Chau commune said innocently, “I was taught by my mother to wear hats from the age of 8”. Each time I wear hats, I often ask my neighbors to sit with me. As soon as I have fun talking, I can help my parents make money.

In addition to participating in some stages of making hats, sometimes children can go to the market to help mothers sell hats. Phan Thi Sang, also in Phu Xuyen village, was moved to tell me: In the past, when I was young, I could do it when I was a child. Being happily brought to the market by her mother, she was eager to spend the night without sleep. Just wondering if anyone would buy her hat tomorrow morning?.

The conical stage is considered to be the most difficult in the cone making process because if it is not skillful, it will cause the leaf to tear, the cone will be damaged
The conical stage is considered to be the most difficult in the cone making process.

Phu Chau is still considered a studious land

The people of Phu Chau go out to study and do business despite having a lot of successful or successful jobs. They will never forget the land with the sun-dried leaves in the early days. The lunchtime hears the sound of a mother’s hat separating. Those who still cling to this land are still predestined to make a hat. The young generation here has always tried to promote thanks to the “fire” of the previous generation. And by their love with the traditional career attached to their birthplace.

The conical hat is not only a convenient object but also a secret beauty of Vietnamese culture, no matter how modern and modern life changes
The conical hat is not only a convenient object but also a secret beauty of Vietnamese culture, no matter how modern and modern life changes.
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