Dau Doi, a traditional ceramic village in Hon Dat

(VOVworld)- The Khmer people in Hon Dat district in Kien Giang have a long tradition of making ceramic products. Local clay is soft and elastic making ceramic products more durable. The village is most famous for making terra-cotta ovens.
Dau Doi, a traditional ceramic village in Hon Dat - ảnh 1

Located in the center of Hon Dat District, Dau Doi village typifies the Khmer culture and is famous for its ceramic products. The local ceramic craft flourished in the 1980s, when each household had 2 or 3 kilns. Tran Van Tue, a village resident, says he bought a machine in 2006 to make the job easier: “My family has pursued the ceramic craft for three generations. We now produce terra-cotta ovens and sell them to people in 6 southwestern provinces. Each oven costs 5,500 VND. We can make 1,000 ovens in 15 days”.

Dau Doi, a traditional ceramic village in Hon Dat - ảnh 2

In Dau Doi village, the women are involved in almost every process of making ceramics, while the men are responsible for the heavier jobs. The women of Dau Doi village still use traditional manual techniques to make their products. Ngo Thi No learned the craft from her mother and she has been making ceramics for nearly 20 years. Ms No say: “I work all year. I work less on rainy days and more on sunny days. I hire one worker and pay him 150,000 VND a day and I can make 50 ovens a day earning a profit of 100,000 VND. This job is not the main source of income for our family”.

Dau Doi, a traditional ceramic village in Hon Dat - ảnh 3

Terra-cotta ovens are the main product in Dau Doi. There are a lot of steps involved in making the product:  soaking the clay, cutting the clay, shaping, baking and drying. The main materials used in baking are rice husks and straw. The baking process takes 3 to 4 days. Tran Thi Sang is a rice husk seller: “Previously, we baked ceramic products using firewood and straw. 20 years ago, we began to use rice husks to bake. We use 500 to 600 bags of rice husks for baking each day. Rice husks can maintain a stable temperature for three or four days, while wood or straw burns up in two or three hours. Products baked with rice husk have higher quality”.

Dau Doi, a traditional ceramic village in Hon Dat - ảnh 4

In recent years, the pottery trade in Dau Doi village has been in decline due to fierce competition from electronic and digital products. The number of pottery producers in the village has fallen. But local people are determined to continue the trade. Ms No says: “I sell our products in Minh Hai, which is very far away. Sometimes, sales are very slow. Our ovens can be used with firewood or coconut bark”.

For the time being, the potter trade continues to bring income to the people of Dau Doi village and to the other villages in Hon Dat district like Hon Queo and Tri Ton.