Dat Thi Nam, who has worked in the village for 40 years, said that Cham brocade products were decorated with complex and beautiful patterns including the god Shiva, the bird-like god Garuda, and dragons. But many of them cannot be found. It has taken a lot of time and effort to restore the ancient patterns.”
Nam, 60, and artisans in the village have spent many months experimenting with making the old patterns.
“Although it’s very hard work, we’re trying our best to restore more ancient patterns and share our techniques with younger generations. We want the Cham’s traditional and cultural values to live forever,” Nam said.
My Nghiep village, which is home to 730 households with nearly 4,000 artisans involved in the traditional occupation of brocade weaving, offers 100 patterns including flowers, birds and geometrical patterns.
In 2017, the village restored eight ancient patterns which included images of elephants and dragons. The tablecloths were sold well and very popular with customers.
The village is now focusing on training young people to maintain the old traditions.
Ham Minh Thieu, head of the village, said that for years many ancient patterns have disappeared following the death of old artisans, while younger workers have not had enough time to learn the techniques.
“We are looking for young talents to teach them how to make ancient patterns,” Thieu said, adding that they were researching old documents to find and revive the lost patterns.
“We hope through ancient patterns, people can learn more about the cultural and spiritual values of the Cham people,” he added.