The conical hats made by the Nung An ethnic people are unlike any other in Vietnam. They have unique patterns, are made from special materials, and are crafted in a distinctive way.

The hats are meticulously handcrafted using bamboo slats and bamboo/banana leaves. The bamboo used must be locally sourced and have a diameter of 5-8cm with a straight stem.

The most crucial step in hat making is splitting the slats, a skill that requires precision and expertise. Skilled artisans never use a knife for this task.

Once split, the bamboo slats are woven into a double-layered frame, with an outer and inner layer.

The outer layer of the frame is intricately woven by the craftsman, as it greatly impacts the final appearance of the hat.

The bamboo leaves used for the hats are carefully selected, bundled together, and naturally dried until they turn brown and develop the desired strength. Longer bamboo leaves are used for the middle layer of the hat.

The middle layer of bamboo leaves enhances the hat’s ability to protect the wearer from rain and sun.

After the bamboo leaves are added, the middle layer is tightly pressed, and the second layer of the frame is attached to make the hat more sturdy. The hats are then dried to protect against termites, increase durability, and withstand sun and rain.

Since the entire hat-making process is done by hand, an artisan can only make an average of four hats per day.

Despite the low market value, nearly 100 locals are dedicated to preserving this craft.

Even though younger generations may not have an interest in learning this traditional craft, the artisans are determined to keep it alive.