The Mong in Lao Chai make many handicrafts to assist their daily lives. Bamboo and rattan weaving is one of their oldest crafts which they use abundantly around their villages.
The Mong make many things from bamboo and rattan such as containers, household utensils, and worship items. They use different varieties of bamboo and rattan for different kinds of products.
Giang A Hanh, a 25-year-old Mong man, attended a vocational training program and returned home with an ambition to develop Mong’s traditional weaving craft. He has studied local materials to produce high-quality products.
“Young people like us should learn from our predecessors and promote our group’s traditional crafts,” says A Hanh.
The craftsmen choose suitable materials to manually shape various kinds of products such as rice papooses, big baskets, trays, and stools with typical characteristics of the Mong.
A Hanh notes revitalizing the weaving craft is difficult, but the bigger the challenge, the stronger his determination.
“I’ll try to create many more products. I will make souvenirs for tourists at local scenic spots,” he states.
Luckily Giang A Hanh is accompanied by his father Giang A La, one of the most skillful craftsmen in the village.
La hopes that his son and other young villagers will spend more time on developing the traditional craft and marketing their products to a wider community of customers.
“I hope young people will preserve the weaving craft. It’s not only to preserve our tradition but also for a stable income,” A La says.
Over the last 2 years, A Hanh’s weaving products have been sold at cultural festivals and used by many restaurants and hotels.
“I’ve used his products which are good quality. We can use or display them for decorative purposes,” confides Hang A De, the owner of Thu De homstay at Mu Cang Chai district.
Giang A Hanh says every day he tries to improve his products. He hopes that visitors to Yen Bai, the land of terraced fields, will become more acquainted with local handicrafts.