Traditional work of the Ha Nhi

(VOvworld) – Settling in high mountains for hundreds of year, the Ha Nhi depend on agricultural production on terraced fields. They have well-organized irrigation systems and have mastered cultivation techniques on terraced fields. Besides farming, they also do some handicrafts.

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Terraced fields of the Ha Nhi in Y Ty commune

The Ha Nhi cluster in high mountains in Vietnam’s northern provinces. They have experience in shaping hillsides into terraced fields, digging canals, and building dams to divert water from streams to their fields. Folklorist Nguyen Hung Vy says: “The Ha Nhi are some of the best farmers on terraced fields. They have experience in choosing water sources and directing water to their fields. Terraced fields and water are two important elements of their life.”

The Ha Nhi raise cattle and domestic fowl in the forests. A Ha Nhi village may leave a hundred buffalo untethered in the forest. The Ha Nhi are good at using creeper, bamboo, and rattan to weave baskets, papooses, and other kinds of containers. Small children also get involved in the craft in their leisure time. Ly Ho Sy, a Ha Nhi man in Y Ty commune, says: “While I’m working, I teach my children how to do it. The children learn weaving to maintain the trade.”

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Ha Nhi people work on terraced fields

The Ha Nhi grow cotton, spin thread, weave fabric, and make their own clothes. Weaving, dying fabric, and making clothes are tasks the Ha Nhi women learn when they are small. Every Ha Nhi family has tools and looms for weaving fabric. The Ha Nhi costumes are beautifully designed and decorated. The Ha Nhi villages in Lao Cai province are attracting a growing number of tourists interested in weaving.

Tu Anh is a tourist: “It’s great to learn about the Ha Nhi culture. I like to see the patterns on their costumes and how they weave, dye fabric, and make clothes. I think if many tourists buy their products, they will further expand their craft.”

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