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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:38 am
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Location: North Carolina USA
I'll be in Vietnam from Christmas to mid-January and am wondering if there are any weaving villages in the southern part of the country. I'm going for a wedding in Saigon, and probably won't have time to explore the northwest.

Also, do any of the ethnic minorities have a tradition of beadwork?

I stumbled upon this forum during a google search for Vietnamese folkarts and have thoroughly enjoyed browsing the messages. What a tremendous wealth of knowledge you have here!

I, on the other hand, am simply a (very) casual collector of textiles; not particularly knowledgeable, just highly attracted to cloth. Woven, dyed, beaded, embellished, old, new -- I'm always on the lookout wherever I go.

If anyone has any pointers, tips or suggestions for this trip to Vietnam, it will be most appreciated.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:08 am 
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Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Hi Penny-
Welcome to the forum. We're glad you've found it interesting, and that you have livened it up with some questions. Regarding those, I will say that I've not been to Vietnam in a couple of years, and did not really search for or come across any active weaving in the south. However, your question about beads leads me to mention that beads are woven into cloth by both the Ta-Oi and Cotu people in the Central Highlands. According to Michael Howard, in his book Textiles of the Central Highlands of Vietnam, the Ta-Oi and Cotu live in the provinces around Hue, on the central coast. It is a short plane flight to Hue and might be worth a visit, plus the town itself is full of historical sites. Hoi An, to the south is also worth a visit. Both towns are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Wish I could be of more help- perhaps some of our forum friends from Vietnam can add more.

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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Penny

My welcome also to the forum.

I am afraid that I am not aware of any textiles which you might find in S Vietnam other than some contemporary 'story' embroidery which you might come across. I haven't been in S Vietnam since 1995 so am very out of touch. I visited in 1994 and 1995 and it was only in the north that I was fortunate enough to find textiles. I would endorse Susan's comments about the Central Highlands. Even here traditional textiles are fast disappearing and I believe that there is very little weaving remaining - there is a tradition of beading.

Forum member Olivier Tallec posted an example of a Cotu loin cloth as a 'mystery' textile in July 2002 which Susan immediately identified. The second photo http://www.tribaltextiles.info/forum/mystery_030703.htm shows the small tin beads. This photo does not do justice to this magnificent loin cloth which is now in my collection (after some mutual re-focusing of collections between Olivier and myself).

I would think that there may well have been a tradition of loincloths in S Vietnam but I think that the tradition of making them is long gone as, I think, is the traditon of wearing them. Men's traditional costume is usually the first to disappear as communities are opened up to outside influences.

I have had a look in my copy of 'The Guide to Asian Textile Collections' published by the Textile Society of Hong Kong. Although they have some entries for Vietnam there is nothing listed in the south of the country for museums. There is one shop mentioned in Ho Chi Minh City: "East Meets West", 24, Le Loi St., Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City, tel: 823 1553, Fax 848-872 8198. The description is:
Quote:
"Offering a select range of high quality Vietnamese handicrafts and hand woven hill tribe fabrics."


The TSHK book is the 2nd edition published in 2000. I strongly advise telephoning before trying to find it. My guess is that any textiles they have will be from the north. I would think that there is factory silk weaving in the south as Vietnam exports silk cloth and clothing.

Could I ask that you give us feedback on any textile shops/museums or textile related experiences that you have on your trip? That would then be available for others similarly seeking assistance.

Oh, just a word of warning. I started as a 'casual' collector of textiles; always attracted, keeping my eyes open but not a serious or even knowledgeable collector. It can, however, become an obsession or, as forum member Monique from the Netherlands describes it, her 'textile virus'.

Very best wishes,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject: Ta-Oi & Cotu
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:38 am
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Location: North Carolina USA
Susan, thank you for the information on the Ta-Oi and Cotu people. Our group might be visiting Hue, so I will definitely make an effort to find them or examples of their work.

I spent the last couple of hours exploring your website and some of the links ... there's a whole world of wonder out there!

Thanks again,
Penny

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:38 am
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Location: North Carolina USA
Thanks for the welcome and the information, Pamela. The Cotu loincloth is indeed magnificent.

It has occurred to me that a number of Jarai people live about 30 miles from here and that I need to contact them before I go. It would be wonderful if I could deliver personal messages from them to family members remaining in Vietnam.

I will most definitely report interesting textile experiences, museums, shops, finds, etc. and will pay a visit to East Meet West. I've read of another shop, Mai Handicrafts, selling handicrafts "made by disadvantaged people in small income-generating schemes."

I certainly understand Monique's textile virus. I have to admit I've been bitten by the textile bug, though it's not turned into a full-blown virus ... yet. I once "rescued" a number of vintage 1950s barkcloth drapery panels from an estate sale, as well as a beautifully cross-stitched South American (?) vest from a local thrift shop. I tried my hand at spinning (husband was far better at it than I) and small scale weaving, which I really enjoyed. I had a wonderful 4-harness table loom that was destroyed in transit when we moved.

I really don't need another obsession, though, as I am already afflicted with bead addiction. Oh, it all started innocently enough with a couple of hanks of seed beeds and a cheap child's bead loom. I now have more than enough beads to last a lifetime but continue to acquire them for use in my own beadwork.

Well, enough rambling ... thanks again for all the info and the warm welcome.

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Penny


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