Thua Thien Hue Portal - Window on Hue / Handicraft village and product
Window on Hue / Handicraft village and product
Handicraft village and product

Phu Cam conical hat village 

 

Phu Cam conical hat village
Making conical hats has been a traditional craft for many generations in Hue city. One of the best-known places for making conical hats in the ancient capital city is the Phu Cam village (Phuoc Vinh ward), where most villagers live from the craft. Hue city conical hats often consist of 16 brims and are made from latania and palm leaves and bamboo, which are readily availabel in the area. Unlike hats made in some other areas, Hue city conical hats are attractive, delicate and durable thank to the makers’ excellent skills. Hue city is famous throughout Vietnam for its special hats made of high-quality latania leaves with pink paper pictures and famous poems between the two layers of leaves.The picture often show scenes from Hue city like Truong Tien bridge, Thien Mu pagoda, Ngu Binh mountain, a boat on the Perfume river, or the charming girls of Hue city. These hats not only protect the wearers from the sun or rain, but also help make the girls of Hue city even more charming, which have made them an endless source of inspiration for poets and writers. The hats have become popular with many domestic and foreign visitors, who buy Hue city conical hats as a souvenir for their relatives or friend.

 

Copper casting 

 

The Hue city copper casting guild lies along the southern bank of the Perfume river, between Da Vien bridge and Long Tho, some 3km southwest of the city center. Under the Nguyen dynasty, the area was a bustling copper casting workplace responsible for providing essential goods to southern Vietnam and the Nguyen reign, including weapons, offering sets, and utensils. Today, five small, distinct communes (Giang Dinh, Giang Tien, Kinh Nhon, Ban Bo, and Truong Dong) in the area ply the craft. Of these, Kinh Nhon and Ban Bo are the two largest and most reputed copper casting villages. The father of the craft was reportedly Nguyen Van Luong, who came from the northern province of Bac Ninh and who hand down the craft to the descendants of the Nguyen family. The 14th generation of the Nguyen family is still a part of copper casting.

 

The guild now has more than 60 casting furnaces anf around 150 workers. Products range from the funereal (urns, statues, caskets, ect), to household appliances (flower vases, pots, pans) and fine handicrafts. The guild’s excellent artisans contributed to the imperial capital’s copper masterpieces like Dai Hong Mon at the Thien Mu pagoda, Cuu Vi Than Cong in front of the Hue city royal citadel, and especially the nine copper urns in Dai Noi that are considered an excellent work of art with 162 relief patterns. These are the striking achievements of Vietnam’s copper casting two centuries ago.

 

Thuan Loc embroidery village 

 

Thuan Loc embroidery village
Thuan Loc ward lies in the heart of Hue city. Embroidery has taken place in the village for years, initially with only several individuals but later performed by professional cooperatives. Embroidery prospered under the Nguyen dynasty when famous artisans from throughout Vietnam rushed to Hue city to serve the needs of royalty and the aristocracy. These golden-handed artisans were responsible for a vast range of sophisticated and unique embroideries. During the long development process, Thuan Loc has continues to use traditional materials like naturally dyed silk threads in making embroidery paintings of high aesthetic value. With the help of imported materials, today Thuan Loc embroidery is very popular for domestic and foreign clients.

 

Ke Mon jewelry 

 

The craft is found in Phong Dien district’s Dien Mon commune, some 40km northeast of central Hue city. Locals once made jewelry from gold or silver for residents and mandarins in the imperial capital. Villages say jewelry was started here in late thirteen century by jewelers travelling southward. One of the best artisans by that time was Cao Dinh Do, who moved from Thanh Ho to settle down to his offspring and other villages. Ke Mon jewelry like bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces are famous for their high quality and sophisticated designs. Some local jewelers are now leaving for Hue city and other areas.

 

 

My Xuyen wood carving village 

 

My Xuyen wood carving village
Located in Phong Dien district’s Phong Hoa commune, My Xuyen village is some 40km north of Hue city. The village was establishes in the middle of the fifteenth century and was famous for its wood carving. According to the annals of the Nguyen Van family in My Xuyen village, the founder was Nguyen Van Tho (apprentice to Tran Cao Van who was famous for his wood carving for royalty). He was a man from Thanh Hoa who later settled down and married in My Xuyen village. Since then, wood carving in My Xuyen is quite sophisticated and highly diverse. Products range from round statues to elaborate reliefs. My Xuyen’s skillful wood carving can be seen in famous architectural works in ancient Hue city.

 

Thuan An fishing village 

 

Thuan An fishing village
Nestled between the unique Tam Giang lagoon ecosystem and the East sea, the village is 12km away from Hue city. Most villagers live from fishing and still have strong religious beliefs connected to the sea. A series of festivities relating to the ocean take place, with the most popular held every three years on the 12th day of the first lunar month. Along with praying for a peaceful life and prosperity villagers take part in less-serious games and other traditions.

 

Besides these craft villages, Thua Thien Hue city is home to many other traditional craft villages with their traditional products, including Hien Luong forging village, Phuoc Tich pottery village, Sinh painting village, Chuon liquor and sticky rice cake village. Unfortunately, due to poor product designs and outdates technology that fail to meet demand, several craft villages and their products have lost their previous popularity, with only a handful of artisans carrying on their village craft.

 

Committed to helping these craft villages, Thua Thien Hue city province authorities are now development a plan to encourage local villagers to resurrect their craft villages with the help of modern production technology. Through their efforts, provincial authorities hope to bring more jobs and create stable income for local villagers, as well as to preserve traditional values, to create business opportunities and to encourage local tourism.

 

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