|B’hLinh Bloo of Song Kon commune, Dong Giang district weave rattan and bamboo products. (Photo: VOV)
B’hLinh Bloo of Song Kon commune, Dong Giang district weave rattan and bamboo products everyday. He said he earns good income from the craft while preserving the Co Tu’s traditional culture.
At the weekend Bloo teaches his grandchildren and neighbors to make rattan products. The craftsmen have to carefully pick bamboo and rattan in the forests and dry them in the sun to kill termites and improve durability. They make a diverse array of products, including baskets, trays, and papooses to keep rice, vegetables, salt, and jewelry.
Big papooses cost from 50 USD to 65 USD while the smaller ones are sold at about 10 to 15 USD. Bloo said the elderly keep on weaving, while young people are not very interested:
“I uphold the craft to preserve the Co Tu tradition. Diligent people can earn good extra income. During the COVID-19 pandemic people stay at home to knit fabric and weave bamboo products. We teach our children to make products to use in the families and to sell,” said Bloo.
|Rattan and bamboo products of the Co Tu in Dong Giang district, Quang Nam province. (photo: VOV)
A Rat Trung, Vice Chairman of Song Kon commune, said there are a few skilled artisans, and most of them are old. The authority has encouraged senior villagers and craftsmen to teach their children.
“In the context of rapid social development, traditional handicrafts such as weaving and knitting are in danger of disappearing. Initial conservation work is quite difficult because there are very few artisans to be able to participate. We don’t have production experience, cost calculation, and product output,” said Trung.
Do Huu Tung, Vice Chairman of Dông Giang district, said the villagers are encouraged to form production groups and household groups to improve productivity and quality. The authority helps them market their products, protect the environment, and conserve cultural identity.
“We have organized exchanges with other districts and provinces to promote our handicraft products and will continue to review craft villages, including bamboo weaving and brocade knitting, toward industrial production. We’ll also enhance communications to inspire the villagers to preserve traditional culture, while enhancing production and tourism to raise income,” Tung said.
Quang Nam province has financed the preservation of their weaving craft in many Co Tu communities. Co Tu people can attend vocational training courses and are given assistance to sell their products.