The traditional Chuong Village Hanoi preserves the business of making genuine Vietnamese conical hats that can make Vietnamese women who are dressing “Ao Dai” more charming and beautiful. The conical hats in this long-lasting village come in various shapes and sizes that appeal to the tourists who take them as the unique souvenirs of the old villages in Hanoi.
Chuong Village in Hanoi
The Conical Hat Chuong Village (“Làng Nón Chuông”) is located in Phuong Trung Commune, Thanh Oai District, around 30km from Hanoi center. This site is recognizable for the traditional making of Vietnamese conical hats of various versions such as the white palm-leaf conical hat, the yellow conical hat, the light Hue-styled conical hat, the small conical hat for the old soldier, etc. Amongst these, the main product of this classical village is the white version which beautifies the whole area with the attractive white as well as the pleasant resin scent.
According to the local elders, they were taught how to make a conical hat from 6 or 7 years old. They could assist their mothers by cleaning the palm leaves by the heated plowshare. Grew up a bit, they learned to needle the thread and sew the simple hat version. When they were adults enough, they practiced how to shape the bamboo frame to be conical and some other advanced techniques.
Nowadays, the locals are so flexible and quick-witted that get the contracts to export their conical hats to foreign countries like Japan, France, Russia, Thailand, Korea, etc. Besides, there are attempts to make this Hanoi traditional village more famous in the tourist communities, resulting in the Hanoi day tours to Chuong Village.
The Chuong Market Gathering
The “conical hat” market assemble 6 sessions in the morning (as early as 6:00 AM) of the 4th, the 10th, the 14th, the 20th, the 24th, and the 30th of a lunar month. The market gathers right in the front yard of the Chuong Pagoda. Locals are excited to sell the conical hats and the materials to make the hats. The gathering occurs in a quick and bustling way and then finish only after 3 hours. Participants should come early to enjoy the unique “Chuong conical hat” market.
Steps to make a Chuong conical hat
It requires the sophisticated and accurate procedure. First of all, artisans need to buy the materials to make a hat including leaf, loop, spathe, etc., and accessories like needles, snell or fishing line (“dây cước”), etc. With the materials on hand, proceed with these steps:
- Straighten the leaf (Là Lá): The leaf is pulled quickly through the heated plowshare to make it flat and unbroken.
- Rotate the hat (Quay Nón): This step covers several small steps asking for artisans’ skills to ensures the endurance of the hat: tying lines around the frame, using leaves to insert throughout the frame, using spathe to cover the leaves, and then using the leaves to cover the spathe layer.
- Needle the hat (Khâu Nón): Artisans needle the hat from the top to the largest rime. Each needle represents their expertise.
- Finish the hat: This includes some final intricate steps of needling the handles through the frame (called “Luồn Nhôi”), using the rims and sub-rims of the “Nức Nón” step. When it comes to this stage, the hat is complete.
The Diverse Vietnamese Conical Hats in Chuong Village
Starting the Hanoi traditional village tour to Chuong Village, you come to the authentic world of Vietnamese conical hats of various designs, sizes, and shapes. You’re likely to see the meticulous mini-size hat to hang wind chime, the creative hat covered by the chrysanthemum-patterned Van Phuc silk, etc., which have no crease on the surface. The conical hats of Chuong village in Thanh Oai District have been famous for their long endurance as time passes
The Chuong Village today is frequently visited by local and foreign guests who come to buy souvenirs and witness how to make a Vietnamese conical hat in a traditional way. Together with the Vietnamese Ao Dai, Chuong conical hats become diverse to best match with the beautiful dress. Get and buy for yourself a palm-leaf conical hat!
Video on The Conical Hat Chuong Village
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