Stinging nettle hammocks, typical product of the Tho ethnic group

Chia sẻ

(VOVWORLD) - Weaving stinging nettle hammocks is an old craft of the Thổ in Nghe An province. The craft brings them extra income and helps preserve intangible cultural values of the Tho.

Stinging nettle hammocks, typical product of the Tho ethnic group - ảnh 1Tho women in Nghia Dan district, Nghe An province weave stinging nettle hammocks. (photo:

The stinging nettle hammocks of the Tho in Nghia Dan district, Nghe An province, have been recognized as a typical local product. The hammocks are 2 to 2.5 meters long, and 1.6 meters wide. When both ends of the hammock are tied securely, a person can sit or lie on it comfortably and safely.

64-year-old Le Thi Noi has been weaving hammocks for 20 years. “The most difficult part is making the knots, or eyes, of the hammock, which should be even and beautiful. If the yarns aren’t woven evenly, it won’t look nice. If you’re skillful, it takes more than 2 months to weave a nettle hammock. It takes more time and effort than making other types of hammocks,” Noi said.

It’s quite difficult to shape the head and foot of the hammock. If the maker isn’t skillful, the head and the foot of the hammock will be misaligned. Then they must be taken apart and retied.

Ms. Noi introduced: “We grow stinging nettle plants. The leaves are used to make cakes (banh gai). We peel the bark off the trunk, soak the bark in water, and separate the fibres for weaving.”

The Tho make nettle hammocks for their own family’s use. They also gather in groups to make hammocks for sale. Luong Ba Vien, an official of the Culture, Sports, and Communication Center of Nghia Dan district, said: “The Tho are good at weaving, especially nettle hammocks. The Tho women are very skillful. They have different types of knots and patterns. Each artisan has a unique style. No two are the same. Their woven products can be thick or thin depending on the artisan’s aesthetic taste and ingenuity.”

Stinging nettle hammocks, typical product of the Tho ethnic group - ảnh 2Shaping the head and foot of the hammock is the most difficult part. (photo:

Lung village has 24 women weaving nettle hammocks, said Le Thi Noi. “I want to hand down the craft to the young people so they can continue our traditional craft.”

Le Thi Hong Ai, a Tho woman who lives in Lung village, said: “The old women are skillful and meticulous. We are eager to learn from them to preserve our group’s culture. This craft must be learned by doing it. I want to weave hammocks, too.”

Hammocks are typical products of Lung village, said Phung Van Toan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Toan Tranh Group. “People make hammocks to sell to tourists. The material is available in nature. Foreign tourists like our products very much.”

Le Thai Hung, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Nghĩa Đàn district, says the district has a population of 150,000 people. One third of them are ethnic minority. The district has a plan to preserve and promote the Tho craft of making hammocks.

“To develop the hammock weaving craft to serve tourism, we’ll develop specific plans and policies. We might issue a resolution on promoting the cultural identity of the Tho ethnic group. The National Target Program for socio-economic development of ethnic minority groups and mountainous areas in the 2021-2025 period addresses the economic development of ethnic minorities. It’s a foundation for preserving ethnic cultural identity,” said Hung.