Life in Vietnam

Saturday, 18/02/2023 09:40

Lô Lô ethnic people uphold traditional embroidery art

The small population of the Lô Lô ethnic group lives in remote, isolated mountain areas of Hà Giang northern province and has a strong sense of culture, still dressing in traditional clothing.

Lô Lô women have a long tradition of teaching their children how to choose materials and sew traditional costumes and decorations.

STITCH IN TIME: Lô Lô women often spend their free time together embroidering and chatting. — VNA/VNS Photo Nam Thái
COLOURFUL: The meticulous stitching and embroidery create vibrant yet harmonious patterns. VNA/VNS Photo Nam Thái

A set of female clothes consists of a shirt, pants or a skirt, and a headscarf. The round-neck shirt has buttons on the front and long sleeves. They sew on triangular patches to make square patterns on the sleeves, front and back of the shirt, and on the pants. The sewing and embroidery are meticulous work, producing colourful yet harmonious patterns.

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: Lô Lô ethnic group lives in remote, isolated mountain areas of Hà Giang and still dress in traditional clothes. VNA/VNS Photo Nam Thái

Brocade embroidery is not only a means of spreading their culture's timeless beauty but also a source of income for the Lô Lô.

Recently, a local brocade embroidery cooperative was set up, producing around 40 traditional  types of garment such as clothing, bags, head wraps, and hats, generating around VNĐ100 million (US$4,200) a year in sales.

According to Lùng Thị Minh, the cooperative's director, their products are mainly souvenirs for tourists.

"Lô Lô women do not use frames and only hold pieces of fabric for hand embroidery, so the stitches are handled very skillfully and delicately, which is a unique feature of our products," she said.

"Most of our products are tourist souvenirs. Embroidery can now be expected to bring in monthly earnings of more than VNĐ2 million ($84) for each member of the cooperatives."

HANDY SKILLS: The Lô Lô people traditionally embroider their brocade by hand. Embroidery is an art form that calls for careful consideration and precise execution to achieve a stunning final product. VNA/VNS Photo Nam Thái
WALK THIS WAY: Lô Lô people take great pride in their embroidered brocade garments. VNA/VNS Photo Nam Thái

Visitors to Hà Giang can observe various steps in the brocade embroidery process, learn about the customs of the local Lô Lô minority, and immerse themselves in the region's rich cultural heritage.

By shifting focus to conservation efforts, the Lô Lô ethnic cultural identity is enhanced while also providing residents with secure employment and boosting the local economy. — VNS

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