In the past few years, the locality has become popular among domestic and international tourists for its spectacular natural landscape and the rich cultures of various ethnic groups including Nung, Dao and Mong. Many of the ethnic groups plant cotton and weave embroidered cloth with a distinctive identity.
Nam Hong culture tourism village, in Thong Nguyen commune, is one place where visitors can experience local cultural life and watch women use their looms.
At the end of the last year, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism worked with local authorities to launch a project to preserve the weaving and embroidering handicraft of the Red Dao group, equipping locals with proper materials.
According to Trieu Van Khuan, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Thong Nguyen commune, Dao people account for 67% of the commune’s population.
“Due to the impact of modern life, locals once used to wear clothes like the majority Kinh people,” he said. “That’s why the traditional weaving handicraft has somewhat faded.”
“But since the State built the local community house, where Red Dao people gather to teach one another the weaving skills, the handicraft has recovered,” he said. “Especially, more and more locals wear traditional clothes instead of clothes like the majority Kinh group.”
Phung Mui Thu, a villager, said at the age of 10, she was taught skills of weaving and embroidering from the simplest to most complex tasks.
Now, she has become an artisan and teaches younger people in the commune.
“Since the community house was built two years ago, women flocked there to weave,” she said. “It’s easier for them to exchange techniques than working separately at homes. Hundreds of young women have learnt the skills at the community house.”
Visitors can also find their products at the community house.
“We are happy as we have not only maintained the traditional handicraft but also earned some extra income from selling products,” said local Ly Thi Huong.
Khuan said community tourism in the district has been greatly developed in the past few years and many foreigners like local handmade cloth.