|Mong embroidery and traditional costume sewing has been practiced in Son la province’s Van Ho district for many generations. Photo: VOV
Almost every Mong family in Van Ho district has a sewing machine and a Mong girl about to get married always receives a sewing machine as a wedding gift.
The motifs and patterns off Mong textiles represent their social life, culture, history, and aspirations. The main decorations on Mong outfits are crosses, triangles or lozenges of contrasting colours using embroidery or encaustic painting.
Mong clothing motifs and designs are totally different from those of other ethnic minorities. Trang Thi Dua, a Mong from Pa Kha hamlet has a small tailor shop where other Mong people can have their clothes made. Dua often surfs the internet looking for new motifs for her products.
"I plan to establish a group of about 20 women from our hamlet to collaborate in preserving our culture," said Dua.
15-year-old Ho Thi Mai Lan of Long Luong commune has mastered the skills of embroidery and making traditional brocade dresses. Lan said she was taught to embroider and weave cloth by her mother when she was only 10.
"After 3 years learning these skills, I’m now able to embroider all the traditional Mong patterns. I want to learn more about tailoring, so I can make more beautiful clothes," said Lan.
|Mong ethnic outfits have become a unique tourism product of Vietnam's northwest region. (Photo: VOV)
Visitors to Van Ho district often buy Mong ethnic clothes as souvenirs or hire a set of clothes to try on and take picture. Tourism has made Mong ethnic costumes a profitable business. Tenh A Chia, Chairman of the Long Luong communal People’s Committee in Van Ho district, said, "A set of Mong ethnic clothes is not cheap. It costs around 1 to 2 million VND - 40 to 90 USD. This has become a good source of income for local Mong households. Compared to other businesses, this trade is more stable and more profitable."
Van Ho district authorities have organized activities to raise awareness on protecting and preserving traditional crafts, including beauty contests for women wearing Mong clothes.
"We’ll continue to help the local people promote their traditional crafts and teach young people how to make Mong costumes in order to boost the local economy and generate jobs," said Nguyen Thi Lu, Head of the District’s Information and Culture Division.