Follow the roads of the craft villages around Hanoi (part 2)
- on Oct 31, 2020       By: BN
Here is our ontinuation of the first part revealing to you our traditional crafts of conical hats, lacquer, wood carvings, traditional cake and ceramics, here is the rest of our selection of ten craft villages around Hanoi, in a diameter from 10 to 50 km from the capital.
Dao Thuc Village buzzes with activity at the year-end and spring days to delight tourists. People who are curious or lovers of this popular art, many people come to see the water puppet shows that appeal to a huge international audience, but also to soak up the rural atmosphere rich in tradition.
Behind the scenes in the water, you will appreciate, on the one hand, the talented hands of the artists and, on the other hand, those of the sculptors devoted to this passion nourished for nearly three centuries. Full of character and above all humour, the puppets which represent the many faces of life and folk tales are made by the villagers of Dao Thuc themselves. With an unwavering attachment to this ancestral heritage, they have breathed the soul into simple sections of wood and bamboo so that they will charm visitors, especially those who go with family.
Location: Thuy Lam commune, Dong Anh district, 22 km from Hanoi
One of the cradles of the country, the Phu Vinh Rattan Weaving Village has eight nationally recognized artisans who have taught many young people from a dozen regions. A fingering and cultivated patience of more than 400 years have generated employment for almost all of its inhabitants and still concerns 90% of families. If we mainly created any type of basket, bag and box for the current need, it is the decorative objects of finesse that have greatly contributed to the profitability of the activity in recent years.
A tour of the village to learn about basketry techniques as well as unique innovative patterns is well worth the detour. It’s no wonder that Phu Vinh’s bamboo and rattan items are among the most exported once one admires his highly dexterous furniture, paintings and parallel sentences.
Location: Phu Nghia commune, Chuong My district, 25 km from Hanoi
A good address for embroidery enthusiasts in Hanoi is the Quat Dong Village which dates from the 17th century. In keeping with the demand of the time, the first Quat Dong embroiderers devoted themselves to making draperies, parallel sentences and canvases reserved for traditional rites.
Modernisation requires, since the beginning of the 20th century, that artisans have succeeded in diversifying their subjects while adopting great refinement. Each item is an example of a work of art rich in both aesthetic and cultural value. It's hard to be insensitive to a painting which, under the hand of great Quat Dong embroiderers, exudes the discreet splendour of Vietnamese landscapes.
Location: Quat Dong commune, Thuong Tin district, 23 km from Hanoi
You have to go there to appreciate rare collections of traditional instruments such as the monochord, 16-string and 36-string zithers, and moon lutes, whose wooden scent is pleasantly greets you upon your arrival. Two centuries since its inception, the profession, closely linked to folklore heritage, encountered many difficulties due to scarcity and economic change. If at its peak, a good fifty families made a decent living from this activity, this number is now only ten. On the other hand, we still meet people there who are committed to preserving our musical quintessence in tools requiring painstaking work, from the choice of wood to use to the perfecting of the required sounds.
It should be noted that such a labour of time and rigour is done manually by real peasants. Knowledge of the trade is acquired simply through on-site training. The stop at Dao Xa Village is also an opportunity to share with these rural artisans their history and their love for traditional music and of course, the instruments for which Dao Xa is famous.
Location: Dong Lo commune, Ung Hoa district, nearly 50 km from Hanoi
To reconnect with the soul of silk, head to Van Phuc Village on the banks of the Nhue River, whose craft dates back to the 13th century. Clothing, ties, scarves, bags, wallets and other accessories abound to immerse you in the sanctuary of silk. Renowned in feudal times for its royal costumes, prized in particular by the emperors of Nguyen, Van Phuc's silks were exhibited for the first time in 1931 at the international fair in Marseille. In addition, throughout the Indochina region, this Tonkinese brand was the apple of the French eye for its great durability and finesse.
The year 1958 marked the first exports of Van Phuc to Eastern Europe and then to various regions since 1990.
There are 800 active households or nearly 60% of the inhabitants of the village who continue to write this thousand-year-old history. Stroll along the shops to make beautiful purchases, but also to see in some workshops, rub shoulders with old looms and the modern electric ones. Treat yourself to memories or contemplatation, let yourself be guided by the weavers whose enthusiasm and mastery have never been lost.
Location: Van Phuc district, Ha Dong district, some 10 km from Hanoi
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