About Vietnam Handmade, Vietnam Handicraft Exporter, Hand Embroidery, Ha Dong Silk Products
The clothes worn by Vietnam's nobles featured the dame royal symbols-dragon, phoenixes, tortoises and cranes-that adorned the robes of Chinese aristocrats. Yet the garments themselves were constructed differently, incorporating elements of traditional Vietnamese design. Vietnam's Nguyen emperors (1802-1945), for example, wore high-necked long con (grand audience) and long chan (formal military gowns, similar to the traditional Vietnamese ao dai tunics that are popular today. Golden hues were reserved for the emperor, as were five-clawed dragons - both symbols of imperial rule. Vietnam's best silk came from the province Ha Tay, which lies to the south-west of Hanoi in the Red River Delta. Silk from this area is often called "Ha Dong silk", a reference to the provincial capital of Ha Dong. The art of silk weaving is said to have begun in Ha Tay as long as 2,000 years ago. Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, two sisters from Ha Tay who led a heroic and ultimately doomed resistance against Chinese rule in the first century A.D., are said to have been silk weavers. Perhaps the most romantic tale of all concerns Queen Y Lan, who lived in the 11th century A.D. Born into a poor family of silk weavers, Y Lan was picking mulberry leaves when King Ly Thanh Tong rode through the village. Awestruck by the young woman's beauty, the king proposed marriage. Twice, while her husband was away, Y Lan ruled the country. And despite her royal duties she continued to weave, becoming a patron saint for the country's silk weavers. Between the 16th 18th centuries, Ha Tay's silk industry flourished. Many villages still bear the name La - the Chinese word for 'silk'. The most famous villages of all were Tring Tiet and Van Phuc, both of which still produce silk to this day. Records show that Trinh Tiet village - originally named Boi Lang - was already known for its fine silk in the sixth century A.D. Villagers credit a man named Nguyen Duc Minh and his wife Tran Thi Thanh for introducing the craft to Boi Lang. Shortly after the couple's first child was born, Mr. Minh passed away. His wife never remarried, devoting all her energy to making silk. She taught her trade secrets to the other villagers and, in gratitude, they renamed the village Tring Tiet, which means 'faithfulness and virginity'. Van Phuc village claims as its founder the Vietnamese wife of a Chinese mandarin, a woman later known as 'Her Highness'. This noblewoman, it is said, taught the men to plant mulberry and the women to weave silk. When she died, at noon on the 25th day of the 11th lunar month, the sky grew dark. The next morning, the villagers awoke to discover a pink silk scarf draped across a sacred tree in the centre of the village. Thereafter, they built a temple in the lady's honor, worshipping her Highness as the founder of their craft.
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