Uncover the 200-Year History of Sedge Mat Weaving in Binh Dinh

For generations, the sedge mat weaving village of Hoai Chau Bac ward in Hoai Nhon town, Binh Dinh province, has been home to hundreds of households carrying on the craft of sedge mat making in the Central region.

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With a rich history spanning over 200 years, the sedge mat weaving village in Binh Dinh is renowned and officially recognized as a traditional craft village by the Binh Dinh province’s People’s Committee.

Explore The 200-Year-Old Sedge Mat Weaving Village In Binh Dinh
Photo: Truyenhinhdulich

The village experiences an influx of tourists during the harvest season, drawn to its traditional sedge mat industry. Professional photographers flock to capture the beauty of this village, creating awe-inspiring works of art. For generations, the locals have been involved in the cultivation and weaving of sedge mats, with the craft being passed down through their families. These mats not only serve as practical household items but also represent the rich cultural heritage of the Vietnamese people.

The sedge harvest occurs during the season of abundant growth, known as the “ripe” sedge season, which coincides with April to June, when the summer heat is intense. From the early morning hours, as the sun’s gentle rays illuminate the day, diligent farmers tirelessly work in the fields to gather the bountiful sedge harvest.

Explore The 200-Year-Old Sedge Mat Weaving Village In Binh Dinh
The dyeing process to create colorful sedge mats. Photo: Truyenhinhdulich

There are two methods for harvesting sedges: mechanical and manual. The mechanical method involves using a regular lawn mower or specialized equipment to cut the sedges. The manual method requires individuals with expertise in operating a long sharp blade or large sharp sickle to carefully cut the sedges. Once harvested, the fresh sedges are bundled together and placed in the field, resembling a formation of warriors.

Amidst the ethereal morning mist, individuals gracefully bear their weight amidst the expansive sedge fields, painting a serene countryside vista that resembles a reverie.

Explore The 200-Year-Old Sedge Mat Weaving Village In Binh Dinh
Photo: truyenhinhdulich

The manual sedge splitter has been an enduring tool used by our community for generations. Positioned directly behind the two front wooden handles (top and bottom) is a 6cm high cutting mechanism, comprised of a series of blades arranged in a linear fashion along the span between the two handles.

Hoai Nhon offers two variants of sedge mats: smooth mats and flower mats. The smooth mats are crafted from natural, pastoral white sedges, exuding simplicity and elegance. On the other hand, the flower mats are intricately woven using a combination of white sedge fibers and dyed sedge fibers, resulting in captivating patterns. Moreover, the flower mats can even be customized based on the preferences of the buyer, ensuring a truly unique and personalized product.

Explore The 200-Year-Old Sedge Mat Weaving Village In Binh Dinh
The sedge field stretches endlessly like a green carpet. Photo: Du Lich

Plain mats are created using undyed white sedges, making the process relatively simple. However, the weaving of flower mats in Binh Dinh is much more intricate. Unlike other regions, flower mats in Binh Dinh do not need to be woven in white before printing flowers on the background. Instead, makers have the freedom to choose sedge yarn for dyeing and color according to their preferences.

The vibrant sedge fibers are carefully dried and expertly woven into beautiful flower mats. These exquisite mats feature meaningful words such as “life,” “song Hy,” or “hundred years of happiness” delicately printed in the center. Additionally, ornate decorative patterns embellish the four corners, while the outer border showcases two lines in either red or blue, resulting in a truly elegant and harmonious design.

Explore The 200-Year-Old Sedge Mat Weaving Village In Binh Dinh
The sedge mat weaving process. Photo: Dulich

Binh Dinh Province

Binh Dinh Province is situated in the South-Central Coast region of Viet Nam. Known for its beautiful beaches, Binh Dinh offers much more than just a coastal escape. The province boasts ancient Cham towers, pagodas, islands, museums, and natural hot springs. In addition, Binh Dinh is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups, such as the Ba Na and Cham.

It is convenient to travel to Binh Dinh from any of Vietnam’s major hubs, including air, rail, or bus transportation. Despite the presence of centuries-old relics, cities like Quy Nhon offer modern amenities and vibrant nightlife.

Charlotte Pho